March 17, 2012


Photograph by Cecil Beaton.

I have a special spot in my heart for Gertrude Stein. Her form, her voice (her cadence and register when she spoke), her dogged insistence on her own genius (despite the fact that she spent so much of her career writing without recognition), her crowd and influence in Paris at 27 Rue de Fleurus - walls covered by avant-garde paintings during the 1920's, Alice Toklas and her poodle Basket. The woman was amazing. In fact, I was lucky enough to teach an undergraduate gender studies course in Paris while we lived there focusing on Ms. Stein and the generation of women writers and artists that made the 1920's what it was in that city. So, when the "The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde" was announced as an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum - I was very keen to run to see. The Steins (Gertrude and her brother Leo and Michael) were extremely influential in the development of several artists' careers - Picasso, Cezanne and Matisse - among others. The exhibition brings together an array of their collections - many of the pieces from private collections for the occasion. A fantastic exhibition.

Jo Davidson's sculpture of Gertrude Stein

Picasso's painting of Gertrude, for which she claims to have sat over 70 or 80 times (not typical of Picasso's approach - but they were great friends and she loved to "sit" for artists)

Matisse's Woman With a Hat


Shelli said...

I saw this exhibition in San Francisco at the Museum of Modern Art and then later in Paris at the Grand Palais and it was much more pleasurable in SF. I had no idea that the setting and the hanging of the art could so influence the experience.

I'll be interested to hear your take on it in NY.

Rosie said...

We watched Midnight in Paris and we entered into her living room several times with many famous artists of the day! I think that cardnal was little gift from God to you. XOXO

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