The Steins Collect at the Met!

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde is a fantastic exhibition open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Sunday, June 3rd.  Following the lives of the three siblings: Leo, Gertrude, and Michael (with his wife Sarah), the exhibit focuses on their patronage of modern art and their relationships with modern artists in Paris in the early 20th century.  It unites over 200 works and demonstrates the controversial influence of the Stein family on the arts community.  Our favorite part of the exhibition was the description of the sibling relationships and their interaction with the artists of Paris.  It is fascinating to look at early 20th century Paris through the lens of art, artists, and their patrons.  Leo moved to Paris in 1903 and became intrigued with the work of Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.  Unable to afford the work of those artists, he began to explore modern artists and befriended Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.  For many years, Gertrude and Leo shared a tiny apartment with walls entirely covered by their collection of art; a scale representation is included in the exhibit. While the show focuses a great deal on the Steins’ relationships with Matisse and Picasso, there is work by many other artists included such as Pierre Bonnard, Juan Gris, Eli Nadelman, and André Masson.  With a great deal of information about the lives of each of the Steins independently and photos of the family (as well as some amazing art), we highly recommend The Steins Collect for this week/weekend.  Why not cool off in a museum?  Our students will enjoy the great examples of color and line in all of Matisse and Picasso’s work (just like what we’ve learned about this year!)  Take a look at some of our favorite images from the exhibition in our gallery (includes portraits of the Stein family members by Matisse and Picasso.)

It ends this Sunday so check it out!

For more information, visit the website:

The New Barnes Foundation Opens in Philadelphia!

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On Saturday, May 19th, the Barnes Foundation reopened in its new location on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.  Despite the controversy surrounding the move, the Barnes has opened to many good reviews, especially regarding the placement of Henri Matisse’s The Joy of Life (1906) which was in a stairwell in the original location.  The arrangement of the collection has remained largely in tact, and there is better space and light to see the work.

Albert Barnes was born in 1872 to a working class family in Philadelphia.  He made his fortune by co-developing the pharmaceutical Argyrol which was used to prevent infant blindness.  While traveling in Paris, he befriended Leo Stein and began to collect art.  In 1922, he founded the Barnes Foundation in order to “promot[e] the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts.”  The collection includes more than 2,500 objects (800 paintings.)  There are a staggering 181 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 69 by Paul Cezanne, 59 by Henri Matisse, and 46 by Pablo Picasso.  Matisse painted a triptych of his dancers specifically for the house.  All of the paintings, objects, sculptures and furniture were arranged by Barnes for their formal qualities for education, not by period, geography, or artist.  African sculptures, European paintings, American furniture and metal work all live and interact together in the same galleries.  The Merion site is still home to the horticultural program and 12-acre arboretum as well as the archives.  It is a truly magical collection (and great for kids!)  If your travels take you to Philadelphia, be sure to add it to your itinerary.  Our Assistant, Mollie, can’t wait to go!

For more information on the Barnes Foundation, visit their website.

For a virtual tour of the collection (when in Merion), visit The New York Times.

For a list of reviews of the new site, visit GalleristNY.

Remembering Maurice Sendak

Today we celebrate the life and art of one of the greatest children’s book artists of the 20th century, Maurice Sendak.  Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Sendak began drawing as a child and continued all of his life.  During the 1950s, he illustrated nearly fifty children’s books as a freelance illustrator.  Unlike his contemporaries, he believed that illustration should add to the mystery and intrigue of the book, not simply illustrate the text.  He wrote and illustrated Where the Wild Things Are in 1963, a book that has inspired and been loved by generations of children and adults.  In 1964 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal by the American Library Association for Where the Wild Things Are.  Sendak went on to write dozens of other children’s books including In the Night Kitchen (1970.)  He also produced and designed various opera and dance performances. His work was exhibited in 2005 in Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak at The Jewish Museum in NYC and is currently on view in From Pen to Publisher: The Life of Three Sudak Picture Books at The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Phildelphia, PA.

 For a wonderful tribute to the life of Maurice Sendak, see his obituary in the The New York Times.