I’m so dense

There’s a big exhibition at MOMA in San Francisco, titled:

The Steins Collect


We went to see it last night with Jack and Lisa.
Now, if I had been paying attention, I would have read the title and known what to expect.  But I didn’t pay attention.  People just kept saying “Have you seen the Gertrude Stein show?”, and for some silly reason I thought we were going to a show of art created by Gertrude Stein, who isn’t exactly known as an artist.  I didn’t really have any idea why we were going.

It sure was nice to be wrong.

The show, which is completely spectacular, is a must see for anyone with any interest at all in the birth of impressionism and modern art.

Beginning with Henri Matisse’s seminal Femme au chapeau (Woman with a hat) the Steins (who turn our to be more than just the storied Gertrude but her brother Leo, her brother Michael and his wife Sarah, semi-wealthy San Franciscans who moved to Paris to live the arty life) were not only collectors of art but of artists.  Their support for Matisse and Picasso are a large part of the artists success.

Femme au chapeau, Henri Matisse. Its bold brushstrokes and non-representational color shocked the art world.

Brother Leo disdained cubism, while Gertrude was a particular friend of both Picasso and the cubist movement.  She even tried to echo the themes of cubism in her poetry.

Gail listening in front of a photo of the Stein apartment. I had to sneak this photo.

I know these things because of the audio tour–without which you simply cannot properly enjoy the show.  The lectures are brilliant–the devices are miserable.  They rely on touch screens to enter numbers relating to specific areas, and the touch screens don’t work well.  Gail ended up using the end of her comb to enter numbers.

And you look like a dork with the headset.

My three favorite dorks.

But ignore the dorkiness.  Ignore the difficulty of the touch screens.  Go to MOMA, see the Stein show.  It ends September 6, so hurry.  And don’t worry, there aren’t any Gertrude Stein paintings.


3 thoughts on “I’m so dense

  1. You might want to see the Gertrude Stein exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum around the corner from SFMOMA. It’s all about her, her family, and her literary achievements. Also, there’s another Picasso exhibit at the deYoung worth seeing. They were both excellent, but the SFMOMA exhibit was by far the best.

  2. The meeting was arranged by the American avant-garde writer and expatriate Gertrude Stein who with her brother Leo had daringly begun collecting Matisses new paintings when almost everyone else in Paris was laughing at them. As Gertrude Stein tells it each painter selected what he considered the worst example of the others new work as if to reassure themselves.

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