I’ve been back to Linda Dalrymple Henderson’s The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (1983) to check that I wasn’t misremembering her arguments. It’s all in the intro:
‘In the long run, Einstein’s influence was to be far greater than that of Hinton, revolutionizing scientific theory and, after about 1919, the world view of laymen as well. However, in the first two decades of the twentieth century, the idea promulgated by Hinton and many others that space might possess a higher, unseen fourth dimension was the dominant intellectual influence […] the impact of “the fourth dimension” was far more comprehensive than that of Black Holes or any other more recent scientific hypothesis except Relativity Theory after 1919.’ p. ix, my emphasis.
In Appendix B she details how non-euclidean geometry and the fourth dimension weren’t integrated into earlier versions of Relativity, notes that there was no reference to Einstein in cubist literature, and uses the Scientific American essay contest to provide an accessible definition of Relativity to date the popularisation of Einstein’s theory to 1920. So Ms Zvonar has indeed misread, quite spectacularly. Next week: I police some message board comments and wag my finger at the perpetrators. Be sure to come back!