Story 5: Legacies
I got out of bed and headed for the drawing table with the thought, "Art. Literature. Marijuana. Homosexuality. Paris. Fun." and drew the first two strips of Gertrude’s Follies.
– Tom Hachtman, interview, 2009
Stein has enjoyed a rich afterlife, especially within the American avant-garde. Immediately following her death, the interdisciplinary group of artists associated with Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Judson Church in New York City embraced Stein’s linguistic play, theater pieces, and operas. Innovators from John Cage and Merce Cunningham to Robert Wilson and Mark Morris claimed her as a posthumous collaborator. Feminists, lesbians, and gays looked to Stein as a foremother, an artistic radical who stood by her same-sex partner without embarrassment or fear. Pop artists, satirists, and cartoonists embroidered on her celebrity image. Postmodernists emphasized her crossing of interdisiplinary boundaries between media, her rejection of linear narrative, and the openness of her texts to multiple interpretations. During the second half of the twentieth century, scholars, activists, and artists made Stein an American cultural icon. Experimental practices in the arts continue to extend her reach into the twenty-first century.