Gertrude Stein

Henri Manuel (18741947)
Gelatin silver print, 1924
Henri Manuel / Courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

After World War I, the atelier at rue de Fleurus became a living room, and Stein became more matronly in dress, wearing suits, blouses, and long skirts with her trademark sandals. But the corduroy robes were still in her closet, and when photographer Henri Manuel asked her to pose in 1924, she re-created her former look, a warmed-over bohemian in her now-tidy domestic space. He posed her as a full-length odalisque in a chintz-covered armchair by the fireplace and inscribed the feminine in the domestic details around her: fresh white flowers and two dancing Tanagra figurines on a chest, embroidered flowers on the fire screen, and a fireplace ready to be lit. In the 1920s Stein was better-known among American artists than French ones, and Manuel was the only French photographer who ever asked Stein to pose for him.