Published: April 18, 2011
Henri Matisse called them “my two Baltimore ladies.” Their friend Gertrude Stein wrote a poem about them entitled “Two Women.” The sisters, Dr Claribel Cone (1864‱929) and Etta Cone (1870‱949), began buying art directly out of the Parisian studios of avant-garde artists in 1905. Although their taste for this radical art was little understood †critics disparaged Matisse at the time and Pablo Picasso was virtually unknown †the Cones followed their passions and eventually amassed one of the world’s greatest art collections.
The Jewish Museum will present “Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore” May 6⁓eptember 25, in an exhibition of more than 50 works from the Baltimore Museum of Art’s internationally renowned Cone Collection. “Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters” hosts paintings, sculptures and works on paper by such artists as Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, Renoir and van Gogh.
The exhibit focuses on the remarkable vision of these two sisters from Baltimore and the personal relationships they formed with of-the-moment contemporary artists as they shaped their extraordinary collection.
In addition to masterworks of French art, the exhibition includes textiles, decorative arts, arts of Asia and Africa, photographs and archival materials to place the Cone sisters’ remarkable story in the context of the exciting world of Modern art and the artists who made history. Ten of the artworks and all of the textiles and decorative arts have never before been seen in New York City.
The exhibition is organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Following its New York showing, the show will travel to the Vancouver Art Gallery (June 2 to September 23).
The Jewish Museum is at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street. For more information, www.thejewishmuseum.org or 212-423-3200.
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