Monday, May 28, 2012

Last Call - Steins Collect at the Met, closing June 3

The Steins in the courtyard of 27 rue de Fleurus, ca. 1905, 

From left, Leo Stein, Allan Stein, Gertrude Stein, Theresa Ehrman, Sarah Stein, Michael Stein

Bancroft Library, Berkeley

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant-Garde,  February  28-June 3, 2012, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The poet/critic  AndrĂ© Salmon wrote in his memoir L’air de la Butte (1945): “When we went to poor Rousseau’s home, we dressed as carefully as when we were invited to visit the high society couturier and arts patron Paul Poiret. We dressed even better than when we went to see the Steins, the brother and sister millionaires who came from San Francisco, posed as transatlantic bohemians and lived near the Luxembourg Gardens. On those evenings on the rue de Fleurus, in a study adorned by [Picasso’s] excellent Saltimbanque Period canvases and in a boudoir studded, like stars, with little Renoirs, an ordinary suit from the wardrobe would do.”* 

According to John Richardson, in his second volume of Picasso’s biography,  Gertrude Stein was as capable of following a conversation in French as the artists were capable of following her writings in English – that is, not very well.