Monday, October 02, 2023

At the Baltimore Museum of Art

The living room of Claribel and Etta Cone whose art collections now belong to the  Baltimore Museum of Art. The room has been reconstructed to accompany the display of their art collections. It seems that when the sisters needed more space for their possessions, they would rent another apartment in the building where they lived in Baltimore.

This painting of bathers by Cezanne was purchased by Leo and Gertrude Stein in 1904. At about this time,
the Cone sisters visited the Steins, who were family friends from Baltimore (where they all lived).
The Cone sisters, under the influence of the Steins, learned to love the modern art that was emerging then.
They bought the painting from Gertrude Stein in 1926.

Pierre Bonnard, “Luncheon Table,” 1908.

Henri Matisse: “Interior, Flowers and Parakeets”
This painting was one of Etta Cone’s favorites, acquired in 1925.

Detail of the Matisse painting, showing the drinking cup.
Detail of Matisse’s “Still Life, Bouquet of Dahlias and White Book”
Another drink image to share with Elizabeth’s blog party!

 From the Cone collection: Picasso, “Woman with Bangs,” 1902.
The Cone sisters visited Picasso’s studio with Gertrude Stein 
in 1903.

In the room with the Cone collection: a sculpture by Rodin.

At the Baltimore Museum of Art last Saturday, we enjoyed seeing the collections of the Cone sisters, Claribel (1864-1929) and Etta (1870-1949). Paintings and sculpture by Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, and many others make up this remarkable trove of early 20th century art, which now belongs to the museum along with their enormous collections of furniture, jewelry, bric-a-brac, textiles, and more. I enjoyed this description of the two sisters from one of the many placards on the walls of the exhibit:


The Cone sisters were ardent collectors. When drawn to a compelling painting, drawing, or sculpture, they found it difficult to resist its pull. The same was true of small items of lesser consequence that filled their drawers to overflowing. If the sisters found one piece of jewelry or lace delightful, three pieces delighted them even more. So they "bought passionately and by the dozens" and never threw anything away. The sisters stored their purchases in heavy chests and hundreds of beautiful boxes made of carved wood, leather, silver, lacquer, and brocade.

Dr. Claribel clearly understood her compulsion to collect. When tempted to purchase Indian silks she wrote, "I am beginning the buying all over again…how the Saris wind themselves about my very heart. Throat would be better, for they strangle out all other impulses.... Now that I stop to reason about it, it is silly foolishness, this collecting of things. But it must have some solid foundation — some foundation deep in the hearts of people.... It is the craving for beauty that is such a vital function of the human soul...."

A small part of Claribel Cone’s jewelry collection, as displayed in the museum.


Blog post © 2023 mae sander


eileeninmd said...

Wonderful exhibit and art collection. I have not been to this museum in years.
Take care, have a great day and happy week ahead!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Those combs in Claribel Cone's jewelry collection caught my eye. They are stunning. My hair has never been long enough to wear one, but they are really beautiful.

The sisters certainly had a plethora of varied interests in art and sculptures.

LOVED the close ups you gave us for drink references. I have always been a fan of Matisse, so these were charming.

Thanks for sharing the Cone sisters, their art, their sculptures, and the jewelry with us for T this week, dear Mae. Love your out-of-the-box approach today.

My name is Erika. said...

I hope you're having a wonderful trip Mae. I love Matisse's work, and I'm glad you shared that lovely table with the lemons. Happy T day to you. hugs-Erika

anno said...

It's so interesting to see a personal collection presented in a public venue like this, where art was purchased as a result of personal taste and personal connection. I am frankly just a little bit envious of the Cone sisters -- looks like they enjoyed some remarkable friendships.

Boud said...

So funny, when they ran out of wallspace, rent another apartment! They had great taste as well as the means of satisfying it. Thanks for the gallery.

Iris Flavia said...

Beautiful art indeed!
Not enough space... crazy!

Valerie-Jael said...

What a fabulous collection the Cone Sisters put together, I would love to visit there. Thanks for showing the lovelyy Matisse c lose ups. Happy T Day, Valerie

nwilliams6 said...

Lovely art work - thanks for sharing, Mae. I have had those bouts of desire to collect and if I had had their money, things would have gotten out of hand. I totally understand how they acquired so much. These days, I am trending toward getting rid of things, which is difficult with a husband that loves collecting. Maybe we balance out some?

Happy t-day! Hugz

J said...

Hi Mae, lovely photos from the Museum, lovely artwork, I can’t image collecting things to keep in chests as I’d rather things I could see every day although I can imagine if you had the money it would get out of hand
Happy T Day. Jan S

DVArtist said...

I envy people that live close to museums. I do miss going to them. I mean good museums. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Have a lovely day today.

Lisca said...

Wow! What a collection! Thanks for sharing. I have since read up on the Cone sisters. Very interesting.

Divers and Sundry said...

What a trip lol that they rented another apartment whenever they needed more space. The advantages of having tons of money lol

I'd love to see the art in person, but your photos are the next best thing :) Thx!

Happy T Tuesday

Empire of the Cat said...

Great collection, lovely art especially the Matisse. Happy T Day! Elle xx

CJ Kennedy said...

Loved when the sisters needed more room for their art collection, they rented another apartment. Thank you for this trip through the Baltimore Art Museum. Happy T Day

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a wonderful post. Loved seeing those paintings. Looks like a great visit, belated Happy T Day,