My study of Florine Stettheimer continues; this is week 2. I made the collage above with some cutouts and layering of a few of her paintings.
Florine continued her art lessons and took a studio in NYC overlooking Bryant Park.
These are some early pieces when she studied with the Art Students League and abroad. It was early 1900’s so there’s probably not a lot of women studying with her; her wealth created an opportunity that wasn’t available to most at that time.
I love this one... Head of Medusa 1908 by Florine Stettheimer using her sister Ettie as model. Probably based off Franz von Stuck’s Medusa from 1892.
In Paris, in June 1912, Florine saw a ballet production that had a lasting impact on her. “Thrilled” by the performance, she immediately began sketching plans for a ballet of her own. She sketched costume designs (more than 50) and made maquettes. Her ballet was never performed but hints of this project are in her later work.
In September 1914, following the outbreak of war, the Stettheimers traveled from Paris back to New York. Florine was in her mid 40’s and had extensive art education while abroad. She began to exhibit her work. In October of 1916 she had a one woman show, the Exhibition of Paintings by Miss Florine Stettheimer.
It was not particularly successful with critics and she didn’t sell a single piece. She vowed to never again exhibit alone. Instead she was a part of shows with the Society of Independent Artists and tried a new strategy she called the “birthday party.” She would invite select friends to an exclusive salon reception at her home or studio where the new piece would be unveiled.
The Stettheimers’ salons attracted a wide range of cultural personalities. The Studio Party (1917-1919) shows such a gathering: the two figures in the foreground are the painter Albert Gleizes and the scupltor Gason Lachaise, seated above them are Isabel Lachaise, the sculptor’s wife, and Ettie Steinheimer with her painter friend Maurice Sterne. Seated center are Avery Hopwood and writer/collector Leo Stein. Juliette Gliezes, the painter’s wife, sits on the couch next to Florine. Florine’s painting A Model (1915) is on the far wall.
I thought it was interesting what contemporary artist Cecily Brown said in an interview: