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July 1, 2015


Filed under: Gertrude Stein — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 7:00 am


Disillusionment in living is finding that no one can really ever be agreeing with you completely in anything.
Gertrude Stein

Today’s post on GERTRUDE STEIN comes about by way of Woody Allen’s latest movie, Midnight in Paris.  The movie spends so much time with Gertrude Stein that I thought I would spend a bit of time on her today.

If you haven’t seen it, it is a  classic, regardless if you like his style of movie.  It is not a “New York” movie, for those of you who are not big fans of his genre.

The objective  of these patrons of the arts, is to bring to the forefront, so much talent, that without them, would never be seen!  So think, if Gertrude Stein and her brothers had not taken such a keen interest!


Gertrude Stein (1980) acrylic and ink on canvas by Andy Warhol – “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century” – Jewish Museum, New York.

Writer and art patron. Born on February 3, 1874, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Gertude Stein was an imaginative, influential writer in the twentieth century. The daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant, she spent her early years in

Europe with her family. The Steins later settled in Oakland, California. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1898 with a bachelor’s degree. While at the college,

Stein studied psychology under William James (and would

remain greatly influenced by his ideas). She went on to study medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School.


In 1903, Gertrude Stein moved to Paris to be with her brother, Leo, where they began collecting                                                                    HENRI MATISSE Postimpressionist paintings, thereby helping several leading artists such as                                                                                                      CEZANNE

Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

She and Leo established a famous literary and artistic salon at 27 rue de Fleurus. Leo moved to Florence, Italy, in 1912, taking many of the paintings with him. Gertrude remained

in Paris with her assistant Alice B. Toklas, who she met in 1909.

Toklas and Stein would become lifelong companions.

Much of Gertrude Stein’s fame derives from a private modern art gallery she assembled, from 1904 to 1913, with her brother Leo Stein.

Of the art collection at 27 Rue de Fleurus, McBride commented: “in proportion to its size and quality … [it is] just about the most potent of any that I have ever heard of in history.” commented one of many famous art historians.

McBride also made the observation that Gertrude “collected geniuses rather than masterpieces. She recognized them a long way off.”[19] The collection soon had a worldwide reputation.

Leo Stein’s acquaintances and study of modern art eventually resulted in the famous Stein art collections. Bernard Berenson hosted Gertrude and Leo in his English country house in 1902, and suggested they visit

Paul Cézanne and Ambroise Vollard‘s art gallery.[20]


The joint collection of Gertrude and Leo Stein began in late 1904, when Michael Stein announced that their trust account had accumulated a balance of 8,000 francs. They spent this at Vollard‘s Gallery,

buying Gauguin‘s Sunflowers[21] and Three Tahitians,[22] Cézanne’sBathers,[23] and two Renoirs.[24]

The art collection increased and the walls at Rue de Fleurus were rearranged continuously to make way for new acquisitions.[25] In “the first half of 1905″ the Steins acquired Cézanne‘s Portrait of Mme Cézanne

and Delacroix‘s Perseus and Andromeda.[26] Shortly after the opening of the Paris Autumn Salon of 1905 (on October 18, 1905), the Steins acquired Matisse’s Woman with a Hat[27] and Picasso’s Young Girl with Basket of Flowers.[28]

By early 1906, Leo and Gertrude Stein’s studio had many paintings by Henri Manguin, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Honoré Daumier, Henri Matisse, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.[29]

Their collection was representative of two famous art exhibitions that took place during their residence together in Paris, and to which they contributed, either by lending their art, or by patronizing the featured artists.[30]

The Steins’ elder brother, Michael, and sister-in-law Sarah (Sally) acquired a large number of Henri Matissepaintings; Gertrude’s friends from Baltimore, Claribel and Etta Cone, collected similarly, eventually

donating their art collection, virtually intact, to the Baltimore Museum of Art[31]

While numerous artists visited the Stein salon, many of these artists were not represented among the paintings on the walls at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Where Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso’s works dominated

Leo and Gertrude’s collection, the collection of Michael andSarah Stein emphasized Matisse.[32]





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