As American expatriates living in Paris, the writer Gertrude
Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah were
absolutely pivotal in shaping the city's vibrant cultural life in
the early 20th century. They hosted Saturday evening salons at
which the brightest artists, writers, musicians, and collectors
convened to discuss the latest developments. They aggressively
promoted and collected emerging painters and sculptors,
particularly their close friends Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
And along the way they developed unparalleled holdings in modernist
work by such figures as Paul Cezanne, Juan Gris, Francis Picabia,
and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Lavishly produced and featuring more
than 600 images, "The Steins Collect" is the first comprehensive
exploration of the Steins' extraordinary collections and their
enduring cultural influence.
The book explores the Steins' impact on art-making and
collecting practices in Europe and the United States; the intense
sibling rivalries that developed around key artists and ideas; the
roots of Leo's aesthetic theories in the thought of William James
and Bernard Berenson; Sarah and Michael's role in founding the
Academie Matisse; Gertrude's complex relationship with Picasso and
their artistic influence on each other; Le Corbusier's radical
villa design for the family; and much more. "The Steins Collect"
not only reveals the artistic prescience of this innovative family
and their important patronage, but also traces how they created a
new international standard of taste for modern art.
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