In 1917, at the first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists at the Grand Central Palace in New York, Marcel Duchamp was so fascinated by the paintings of Louis Michel Eilshemius that he not only told all his friends about his discovery but also organized, some time later and together with Katherine S. Dreier, Eilshemius's first two solo exhibitions in a public institution—the meanwhile legendary Société Anonyme. In his comprehensively researched and excitingly written study, Stefan Banz examines the question—and is the first author ever to have done so—as to why Duchamp was so passionately interested in this eccentric outsider of the New York art scene and as to whether and to what extent this enthusiasm also had an influence on his own work as an artist. Stefan Banz's researches uncover astonishing facts that not only underscore how great and underestimated Eilshemius was but also how strongly Duchamp had been influenced by this relatively unknown artist when creating such famous works as his Élevage de poussière or Étant donnés. The English edition published in 2015 (complemented by hitherto unknown readers' letters and documents by and about Louis Michel Eilshemius) was a great success in the USA and received the 2016 Rollins Book Award, and the 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award (as an
Honorable Mention in the Category “Art”).