Published in New York and edited by James Oppenheim with substantial assistance from Waldo Frank and Van Wyck Brooks, The Seven Arts had the ambitious goal of transforming American life through the arts. Like other little magazines of the period, it attracted a new generation of young writers who were interested in putting America’s genteel tradition behind them. But instead of promoting an avant-garde at odds with the wider public, the magazine sought to catalyze an American cultural renaissance by building a distinctively American culture for a national American audience. Literary contributors included Sherwood Anderson, Maxwell Bodenheim, Theodore Dreiser, Robert Frost, Kahlil Gibran, Marsden Hartley, Amy Lowell, D. H. Lawrence, H. L. Mencken, Carl Sandburg, and Paul Strand. The magazine also published the first short story by Eugene O’Neill and one of the first essays by 21-year-old John Dos Passos. Oppenheim, Frank and Brooks provided social commentary and criticism, along with John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Paul Rosenberg, Carl van Vechten, and especially Randolph Bourne—whom Oppenheim credited as being the “real leader” of the Seven Arts group. The magazine folded in 1917, after just one year of publication, when its main patron took issue with the magazine’s vocal opposition to the war and withdrew funding.
Vol. 1, No. 1 (1916-11-01) Vol. 1, No. 2 (1916-12-01) Vol. 1, No. 3 (1917-01-01) Vol. 1, No. 4 (1917-02-01) Vol. 1, No. 5 (1917-03-01) Vol. 1, No. 6 (1917-04-01) Vol. 1, No. 6 (1917-04-01) Vol. 2, No. 1 (1917-05-01) Vol. 2, No. 2 (1917-06-01) Vol. 2, No. 3 (1917-07-01) Vol. 2, No. 4 (1917-08-01) Vol. 2, No. 5 (1917-09-01) Vol. 2, No. 6 (1917-10-01)