The Steins Collect

Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde

Perspectives on The Steins Collect: Mobile Tour Highlights

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde presents a look at the beginnings of modern art in early 20th-century Paris. The exhibition's back story is rich and complex, and to enrich the museum experience, SFMOMA has created a new audio tour that provides indispensable context.

Available in the galleries on handheld multimedia players, the tour gives insight into who the Steins were, how they influenced modern art, and what it was like to see works by Matisse and Picasso when the paint was still fresh. Artworks are brought to life with quotes from the Steins and their creative contemporaries, along with stories told by the curators who organized the exhibition.

Get a taste of the tour and a preview of the exhibition with the quotes excerpted here. For the full story, rent the complete tour when you visit the exhibition.

The Steins Collect mobile tour: $6 general; $5 SFMOMA members.

Purchase online and save! Look for a special discounted The Steins Collect timed ticket and mobile tour bundle when you purchase online.

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Paul Cézanne, Bathers, 1898-1900

The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Cone Collection; photo: Mitro Hood

"Leo [Stein] was always very proud of his Cézannes, and particularly of this small painting, Bathers. These imaginative paintings of bathers by Cézanne were much prized by other artists: by Degas and by Monet. Matisse literally hocked everything he had in order to buy a small Bathers by Cézanne."

— Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman, Department of 19th-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905

Collection San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Elise S. Haas;
© 2011 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 "[Woman with a Hat] was a portrait of [Matisse's] wife wearing an enormous hat. It's brilliantly colored — very wild, strong colors, quite unlike anything anybody was doing at the time. Matisse said long afterward that actually she'd been wearing black, as all respectable married ladies did in those days, and her hat was black, too. But he had seen it in brilliant colors, and that's how he painted it."

— Hilary Spurling, Matisse biographer


Pablo Picaso, Head of a Sleeping Woman, Study for Nude with Drapery, 1907

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Estate of John Hay Whitney;
© 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"It's impossible to overstate the impact of the Steins on the development of Picasso and Matisse's art. It was through the Steins that Picasso and Matisse met one another, and all sorts of things were put in play as a result, one of the most important being that Picasso saw African art in Matisse's studio. Picasso immediately began to incorporate some of the formulas of African art into his own painting, abandoning the sweet neo-classical proportions and wholeness of the figures to literally rip the figures apart, to gouge the face, to use scarification, seizing upon the most exaggerated, aspects of this African art that he saw."

— Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman, Department of 19th-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Henri Matisse, Boy with Butterfly Net, 1907

Collection The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund;
© 2011 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"Matisse and Allan Stein (Sarah and Michael's son) had a real affection for each other, and Matisse used Allan as a model for several pictures. Boy with a Butterfly Net is the most significant of these. You see the young boy engaged in one of his favorite activities — his uncle Leo had given him the butterfly net."

— Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture, SFMOMA


Marie Laurencin, Group of Artists, 1908

The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Cone Collection; © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

"Everybody called Picasso Pablo and Fernande Fernande and Guillaume Apollinaire Guillaume, but everybody called Marie Laurencin Marie Laurencin . . .
She was very interesting."

Gertrude Stein, from The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, 1933


Pablo Picasso, The Architect's Table, 1912

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The William S. Paley Collection; © 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"The Architect's Table represents the peak of Picasso's analytic cubist work. This piece was in progress when Gertrude Stein went to Picasso's studio, found him not at home, and left her calling card for him. He painted her card into the lower right of the composition."

— Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture, SFMOMA


Juan Gris, Flowers, 1914

Private Collection

"Picasso created [Cubism] and Juan Gris permeated it with his clarity and his exaltation."

— Gertrude Stein, from The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, 1933


Henri Matisse, Sarah Stein, 1916

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sarah and Michael Stein Memorial Collection, gift of Elise S. Haas; © 2011 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"For the 30 years that Sarah lived in Paris, she was, apart from his family, Matisse's closest confidante, so far as painting went — which, for him, meant so far as life goes — both life and art. . . . A painting could never be finished if Sarah hadn't seen it."

— Hilary Spurling, Matisse biographer

 


The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Réunion des Musées Nationaux–Grand Palais, Paris; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Presenting Sponsor
Lead Corporate Sponsor Premier Sponsors Major Sponsor
Charles Schwab Walter & Elise Haas Fund
Major Media Sponsors Generous Promotional Support

Major support is provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater; Gerson and Barbara Bakar; the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund; the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; the Walter & Elise Haas Fund; and The Bernard Osher Foundation. Generous support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; Gay-Lynn and Robert Blanding; Jean and James E. Douglas Jr.; Ann and Robert S. Fisher; Gretchen and Howard Leach; Elaine McKeon; Deborah and Kenneth Novack, Thelma and Gilbert Schnitzer, The Schnitzer Novack Foundation; and Lydia and Douglas Shorenstein. Additional support is provided by Dolly and George Chammas, and Concepciá½¹n and Irwin Federman, and the French American Cultural Society. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Generous promotional support is provided by KGO-TV and KQED.