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The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) Hardcover – June 21, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Hardcover: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1ST edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300169418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300169416
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 10.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Lavishly illustrated…. an essential document for any scholar of Modernism and the Steins.” —The Sacramento Bee (The Sacramento Bee)

"This bulging blockbuster (with more than two hundred works by some forty artists, plus documentation of all types) is devoted to the collections and personalities of the Stein siblings . . . The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde and its sizable catalogue admirably give each family member his or her due, offering a renewed appreciation for Leo, Michael, and Sarah."—Robert Pincus-Witten, ArtForum
(Robert Pincus-Witten ArtForum)

"This exhibition catalogue is handsome, definitive, and rich with material. . . . deeply critical to future studies of the Steins and the early-20th-century Parisian avant-garde."—J. Decker, Choice
(J. Decker Choice)

About the Author

Janet Bishop is curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Cécile Debray is curator of historical collections at the Museé National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. Rebecca Rabinow is associate curator of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Robert McD. Parker is an independent scholar.

More About the Author

Currently, I am a contributing author to art exhibition catalogues for major institutions in America and abroad. In recent years, I have also served as a principal art researcher for numerous international museums and as an editor for various scholarly art publications.


Photo by Gitty Darugar.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The printing standards of this weighty volume are high as are the excellent color reproductions.
Ivor E. Zetler
It is a very comprehensive look at the artwork the Steins collected in Paris near the beginning of the twentieth century.
SLS
If you want a book about the "first family" of modern art collecting, I strongly recommend this museum publication.
Elliot Silvera

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla D. Schouten on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently went to the special exhibition of "The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It is a marvelous exhibit. I learned so much about the Stein siblings, Gertrude and her brothers Michael and Leo (plus Michael's wife Sarah and later Gertrude's partner Alice B. Toklas), an extraordinary American family that shaped the art world of the 20th century as no one else did. This family from San Francisco moved to Paris in 1905 and stayed there for nearly three decades. Without great wealth, they used their income to buy avant garde art and promoted the artists they loved, especially Matisse and Picasso, helping to make these artists famous in Europe and in the United States. Their massive, ground-breaking collection was scattered around the world after their deaths, but this exhibit brings them together for the first time. The curatorship for this exhibit is superb: not only were so many remarkable (and legendary) works of art brought together, but the organization and display of the pieces mimick the way they were displayed in the various rooms of the Steins' apartments in Paris. The exhibit includes furniture pieces from the Steins' apartments, personal letters, documents, and family photographs of the Steins and their artist friends. It is a fantastic exhibit and this book, well-researched and scholarly, captures it exceedingly well. The book is a delight to read, since it helps one to understand better the motivations and artistic sensibilities of the Steins, the art world they lived in and helped create, and the historical context of the art pieces that rocked the 20th century.Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ivor E. Zetler on July 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Stein family made their fortune in the United States from streetcar lines and real estate. Siblings Leo(1872-1947)and Gertrude (1874-1946)lived together in Paris between 1904 and 1913 after which Leo left for Italy. They held a weekly Saturday salon at their home which served as a meeting place of many Parisian artists and intellectuals. They also amassed a fabulous art collection, concentrating on the works of Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso. Another brother Michael focussed on accumulating paintings by Matisse. This volume documents the history of the family as well as various aspects of their collecting habits and gives a description of their domicile in Paris.

Apart from the informative essays, there are numerous monochrome illustrations of the Stein residence, family members and associated personalities. Additionally there are generous sized color reproductions of the fabulous art works that were once in there possession. Understandably, given their quality and renown, a significant quantity of these works would be familiar to art enthusiasts. I was however pleased to discover a large number of high quality paintings that I had not previously encountered.

The printing standards of this weighty volume are high as are the excellent color reproductions. Strongly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christian Schlect VINE VOICE on July 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book that deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone with a keen interest in the history of Western Art of the last century.

Readers interested in the explosion of great art that emerged from Paris in the early years of the twentieth century; of Picasso and Matisse (and other artists of near rank); of the Stein family, especially Gertrude and her companion, Alice B. Toklas; and of the inner workings of the Stein's toward the acquisition of their astounding collections of art--such interested readers should buy and read this collaborative scholarly effort.

Along with the nice and true color reproductions of the artworks purchased by members of the Stein family, I especially enjoyed the black-and-white photographs of the interiors of the various Stein homes, which allow one to see how the works were actually privately displayed over time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Silvera on April 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I just saw "The Steins Collect" exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum. Gertrude, Leo, and Michael Stein, American siblings living in Paris were renowned for their modern art collections. This very large exhibit(nearly 200 paintings,sculptures, drawings, prints, and archival materials) and accompanying book explores all three collections together in depth. I enjoyed the paintings so much I had to buy the catalogue as a momento and to learn more about this family. The book has a thorough introduction about the Steins early years and then each sibling is devoted in a series of essays. Leo and Gertrude jointly purchased works of art while sharing an apartment. Paul Cezanne, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Henri Charles Manguin were just some of their favorite artists. However, Leo later moved only taking the Renoirs and two Cezannes from their huge collection and spent the rest of his life concentrating on writing art crticism. Michael and his wife, Sarah's main focus was Matisse and were also involved in the formation of the Academie Matisse. Gertrude and her companion, Alice Toklas added more Picassos and paintings by Juan Gris, Francis Picabia and Andre Masson. Throughout, there are loads of colorplates highlighting their most celebrated acquisitions and other artworks associated with the family. As a bonus, the catalogue features a number of additional key Stein owned paintings and sculptures which were unfortunately not part of the exhibit. There is also an appendix which contains photographs of all the Stein residences showing how their art was displayed, excerpts from Sarah's notebooks, a family chronology, and a detailed list of all their acquisitions. I found the catalogue very informative and I loved all the beautiful mostly large color reproductions of the works of art. If you want a book about the "first family" of modern art collecting, I strongly recommend this museum publication.
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