Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters : The Cone Sisters of Baltimore
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In the early 20th century, Baltimore sisters Claribel and Etta Cone first visited the Paris studios of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso and began assembling one of the world's most important art collections. Their passion for Matisse's art, in particular, led them to acquire 500 of his works - one of the most extraordinary Matisse collections in history. Supported by the Cone family textile business, the sisters made annual trips to Europe to purchase art and their close friendship with Gertrude and Leo Stein led to a wide circle of influential acquaintances. They eventually amassed a collection of 3,000 works, which were donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art after Etta Cone's death in 1949. This publication gathers 50 works from the internationally renowned Cone Collection including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, Renoir, van Gogh, Courbet, and other masters. Karen Levitov's essay recounts the story of the Cone sisters, their tastes, and their remarkable collection. Levitov also discusses what distinguished their connoisseurship from their contemporaries, particularly their Jewish peers.