New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is exploring about two hundred works of art in a new exhibition titled The Steins Collect 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.
The exhibition is made possible by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris. Apart from this, it is also supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah are regarded as important patrons of modern art in Paris during the first decade of the twentieth century.
While the San Francisco version emphasized the Bay Area connections of Michael and Sarah Stein, the Met's version reportedly stresses the period during which all four Steins lived in Paris.
The New York Times reported that The Steins Collect is remarkably clear-eyed about the divisions within the family, the competing egos and shifting alliances. And it provides some refreshingly candid biographies of the individual Steins, even the one we know well from her own writing and an intimidating portrait by Picasso.
The exhibition begins with the art that Leo Stein collected when he arrived in Paris in 1903. This primarily includes paintings and prints by artists Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Édouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir.
The exhibition eventually the evolution of the Steins' taste and examines the close relationships formed between individual members of the family and their artist friends.
While focusing on works by Matisse and Picasso, the exhibition also includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by artists Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Manguin, André Masson, Elie Nadelman, Francis Picabia, and others.