|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 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:
A PASSION FOR COLLECTING
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.|
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