May 09, 2011

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde

It’s been all hands on deck for many, many months as the museum has been getting ready for the landmark exhibition The Steins Collect, opening May 21. American expatriates in Paris when the 20th century was young, the Steins — writer Gertrude, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael’s wife, Sarah — were responsible in many ways for the turn-of-the-century revolution in the visual arts. SFMOMA’s interpretive media team has produced a suite of videos about the family and we’ll share them here over the next several weeks. Enjoy.

Rebecca Rabinow, associate curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and co-curator of The Steins Collect, begins with the family’s life in Paris, where they began collecting and befriended some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

Paris was the pilgrimage point in the early twentieth century for people interested in seeing emerging modern art. The first stops on the tour were the Stein family’s two residences: 27 rue de Fleurus and 58 rue Madame. Matisse biographer Hilary Spurling tells the tale.

Comments (2)

  • No comment on Open Space has ever made me laugh so hard, Meg. Indeed the ‘News Desk’ alias is meant to divert attention from some of the more madcap antic. Totally doesn’t work, I hear. Or maybe that’s where all the mad cap can take place. I’ve been thinking we should do a radio broadcast from ‘the bowels’. What do you think?

  • Meg Shiffler says:

    I love it. This is the first post I’ve seen from the “News Desk.” Makes me think of the Mary Tyler Moore Show – except this would be the Suzanne Stein Show – complete with sassy star and a wacky cast of players, all set in the bowels of SFMOMA.

Leave a comment

Please tell us what you think. We really love conversation, and we’re happy to entertain dissenting opinions. Just no name-calling, personal attacks, slurs, threats, spam, and the like, please. Those ones we reserve the right to remove.

Sign Up

Join our newsletter for infrequent updates on new posts and Open Space events.
  • Required, will not be published

Dear Visitor,
We regret to inform you that Open Space is no longer active. It was retired at the end of 2021. We sincerely appreciate your support and engagement over the years.

For your reference, we encourage you to read past entries or search the site.

To stay informed about future ventures or updates, please follow us at

Thank you for being a part of our journey!