May 19, 2011

The Steins Collect: Sarah and Matisse/Gertrude and Picasso

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, and at last it opens, with a preview today for members and to the public this Saturday. 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; here are the second two of five. First two here. Enjoy.

Matisse biographer Hilary Spurling describes the deep friendship between Henri Matisse and Sarah Stein and the patronage it inspired. Excerpts from letters written at the end of their lives serve as testament to the strength of their relationship and the gratitude they felt toward each other.

Gary Tinterow, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and cocurator of The Steins Collect, discusses the role Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein played in each other’s creative lives. Each became the subject of a portrait by the other: she as the face of one of his landmark paintings, he as an inspiration for her writing style and subject of one of her cubist poems.

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