Last Friday we went to see the "The Stein's Collect, Matisse, Picasso and the Parisan Avante-Garde" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. What an amazing show....Gertrude Stein was a pioneer in her writing and also the art she purchased. She played a pivotal role in art in the 20th century and the new styles that emerged, especially from Matisse and Picasso. I was particularly struck with the courage it took for Matisse to paint, "Woman with a Hat" in 1905. It was a portrait of his wife wearing an enormous hat and it was brilliantly colored, unlike anything being painted in that time. In the exhibit they said that when people first saw it, they didn't like it and even clawed it because the colors were so "unrealistic". His wife had actually been wearing black when she posed as that was what respectable married women wore and yet he saw the humaness of her and all the beautiful colors. I was quite touched by this. My art form of course is pressed flowers and one of my friends, Marie Ann Robinson, who is an excellent pressed flower artist, did a pressed flower rendition of this picture and it is very beautiful. Go to her website: Prairie Petal Art.com and click on services and scroll down to see her pressed flower "Woman with a Hat".
After we saw the show at the Museum of Modern art we walked a few blocks to the Contemporary Jewish Museum to see one of their exhibits, "Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories." It gave a more personal look at Gertrude Stein and her complex relationshop to her identity, culture and history. It also gave us a view of her domestic life with her partner, Alice B. Toklas. After seeing her art collection, learning more about her personal life was like "icing on the cake".