The Steins Collect Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde Janet Bishop, Cécile Debray, Rebecca Rabinow, Emily Braun, Gary Tinterow, Martha Lucy, Claudine Grammont, Carrie Pilto, Hélène Klein, Isabel Alfandary, Edward M. Burns

Publication date:
21 Jun 2011
Yale University Press
492 pages: 292 x 254mm
400 color + 220 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

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. New research presented by historians, curators, and other experts 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.

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.

"A magnificent, revealing volume."—Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times

"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

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