Thursday, 1 March 2012

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

Pablo Picasso
Boy Leading a Horse, 1905-6
Oil on canvas
86 7/8 x 51 5/8 in. (220.6 x 131.2 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The William S. Paley Collection, 1964
© 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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

February 28 – June 3, 2012

Exhibition Location: The Tisch Galleries

The Stein siblings—Gertrude, Leo, Michael, and his wife Sarah—were important patrons of modern art in Paris during the first decades of the 20th century. The Steins’ Saturday-evening salons introduced a generation of visitors to recent developments in art, particularly the work of their close friends Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, long before it was on view in museums. The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde—at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from February 28 through June 3, 2012—will unite some 200 works of art to demonstrate the significant impact the Steins’ patronage had on the artists of their day and the way in which the family disseminated a new standard of taste for modern art.

Beginning with the art that Leo Stein collected when he moved to Paris in early 1903—including paintings and prints by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Édouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir—the exhibition will trace the evolution of the Steins’ taste and examine the close relationships that formed between individual members of the family and their artist friends. While focusing on works by Matisse and Picasso, the exhibition will also include paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Manguin, André Masson, Elie Nadelman, Francis Picabia, and others.

The exhibition is made possible by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation andthe Janice H. Levin Fund. Additional support provided by The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Highlights from the exhibition include Matisse’s Woman with a Hat (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), purchased by Leo Stein from the famous “fauve” Salon d’Automne of 1905, and Picasso’s painting of Gertrude Stein (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), which will be presented alongside additional portraits of the Stein family by Matisse, Picasso, and Vallotton.

Life-size photographic enlargements of the Steins’ Parisian apartments will be displayed throughout the exhibition to show how the art was installed in the Steins’ residences. Additional themes covered in the exhibition include Sarah Stein’s role in the formation of the Académie Matisse, the influential art school that operated from 1908 to 1911; Sarah and Michael’s commission of a villa from Le Corbusier; and Gertrude’s later collaborations with Juan Gris, Élie Lascaux, Francis Rose, and Virgil Thomson.

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde is organized by Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA; Cécile Debray, curator of historical collections at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Rebecca Rabinow, Curator, and Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman, both of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated, 464-page catalogue edited by Janet Bishop, Cécile Debray, and Rebecca Rabinow. The publication features new research, previously unpublished archival information, and original essays by a range of French and American experts in the field: Isabel Alfandary, Janet Bishop, Emily Braun, Edward Burns, Cécile Debray, Claudine Grammont, Hélène Klein, Martha Lucy, Carrie Pilto, Rebecca Rabinow, and Gary Tinterow. The catalogue is published by SFMOMA in association with Yale University Press, and will be for sale in the Museum’s book shops.

The Museum will offer an array of education programs for this exhibition including films, a Sunday at the Met on April 29, a series of exhibition tours and thematic gallery talks, a teacher program, and a participatory teen program exploring connections between writing and art.

Education programs are made possible by The Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust.
An audio tour, part of the Museum’s Audio Guide Program, will be available for rental ($7, $6 for Members, $5 for children under 12).

The Audio Guide is sponsored by Bloomberg.

Prior to its presentation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Steins Collect has traveled to SFMOMA and to the Grand Palais, Paris, where it will be on view through January 16, 2012.

The Steins Collect also will be featured on the Museum’s website at