art with tosca
Gertrude Stein: Collecting in France & Baltimore’s Cone Sisters


Gertrude Stein’s presence in early 20th century Paris shaped a whole generation of artists,
painters and authors. From her Paris apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus on the Left Bank, which she shared with her life-long companion and secretary, Alice B. Toklas, Stein discovered and helped launch the careers of some of the greatest figures in modern art and literature, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire. Larger than life, she is largely remembered for her personality and patronage of the arts, more than for her huge contribution to modern literature.

This lecture will examine various aspects of Gertrude Stein’s life and legacy while also exploring
the close ties between American collectors and France.

Behind the Cone Sisters are the figures of Claribel and Etta Cone, close friends of Gertrude Stein, the two women assembled one of the most impressive collections of modern art in the United States, that they enjoyed in their Baltimore apartments. They also counted in their social circle artists such as Picasso and Matisse. Although, do not get mistaken, the Cone Sisters were very different from one another and shared different perspectives. Etta was considered the shy sister, the one that always came second while Claribel, a doctor, was the one people remembered. Nowadays, Baltimore is home to their legacies and the art scene would not be the same without their generous gift.

It is fitting to discuss the lives of Gertrude Stein and the Cone Sisters in the same lecture as their lives intertwined on various aspects.

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