The Steins Collect
Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde
By Janet Bishop (Introduction by); Cecile Debray (Introduction by); Rebecca A. Rabinow (Introduction by); Emily Braun (Contribution by); Gary Tinterow (Contribution by); Martha Lucy (Contribution by); Claudine Grammont (Contribution by); Carrie Pilto (Contribution by); Helene Klein (Contribution by); Isabel Alfandary (Contribution by); Edward M. Burns (Contribution by)
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300169416, 492pp.)
Publication Date: May 2011
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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 Cézanne, 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 Académie 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.
Janet Bishop is curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Cécile Debray is curator of historical collections at the Museé National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. Rebecca Rabinow is associate curator of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
“Lavishly illustrated…. an essential document for any scholar of Modernism and the Steins.” —The Sacramento Bee
"This bulging blockbuster (with more than two hundred works by some forty artists, plus documentation of all types) is devoted to the collections and personalities of the Stein siblings . . . The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde and its sizable catalogue admirably give each family member his or her due, offering a renewed appreciation for Leo, Michael, and Sarah."—Robert Pincus-Witten, ArtForum
"This exhibition catalogue is handsome, definitive, and rich with material. . . . deeply critical to future studies of the Steins and the early-20th-century Parisian avant-garde."—J. Decker, Choice