Tête de trois quarts (Head in Three-Quarter View), 1907
Collection SFMOMA, bequest of Elise S. Haas
© 2008 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
It would be hard to overestimate the significance of the Elise S. Haas collection for SFMOMA. Made up of some 35 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, this group of stunning early modernist works highlights especially the art of Henri Matisse and Henry Moore but also includes pieces by such luminaries as Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, and Barbara Hepworth. A student of art herself, Haas not only collected works by these great artists, but she also endeavored to get to know them personally. Though the collection now seems classic, it was one of the most cutting edge of its time, setting a forward-thinking example that continues to inspire the collecting practices of SFMOMA to this day.