Story 3: Art of Friendship
Before the flowers of friendship faded friendship faded.
– Gertrude Stein, Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded, 1931
Throughout her life, Stein cultivated relationships with up-and-coming artists, often leveraging her fame with theirs. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933) chronicles the alliances Stein formed in her salon before the First World War. In addition to artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, and Georges Braque, collectors and dealers visited the personal museum of avant-garde art that she and her brother Leo created at 27, rue de Fleurus. Stein’s priorities shifted when, in 1910, Alice B. Toklas moved in and Leo moved out four years later. After the Great War ended, writers of the “lost generation” sought her out. Yet it was not with Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald that Stein forged the strongest bonds. Those Stein embraced as her “second family”—Carl Van Vechten, Virgil Thomson, Bernard Faÿ, and Francis Rose among them—shared her sexual as well as artistic nonconformity.
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