Visit the Exhibition

“Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories“ features more than 25 artifacts and 100 works by artists from across Europe and the U.S., detailing Stein’s life and work as an artist, collector, and distinctive style-maker. The exhibition shares an in-depth portrait of Stein that knits together her many identities: literary celebrity; life-long partner of Alice B. Toklas; arts networker whose famous friendships included some of the most prominent artists of her time (Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Hemingway); Jewish-American expatriate; and muse to artists of several generations. Stein is considered by many to be an inventor of modernism whose reach across the arts was extraordinary. She wrote novels, poems, essays, literary and art theory, opera libretti, ballets, memoirs, and children’s books and was also an arts networker, bringing creative people together in legendary salons and gatherings in her homes. Her originality as a thinker, along with her interdisciplinary approach to projects in dance, music, and theater, continue to inspire artists today.

Wanda M. Corn, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor Emerita in Art History at Stanford University, is serving as guest curator, with Tirza True Latimer, Associate Professor and Chair of Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts, serving as associate guest curator.

“Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories” has been jointly organized by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco

A 405-page, fully illustrated scholarly book, Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories accompanies the exhibition and is available for $45. It was written by Corn and Latimer and published by the University of California Press.

The National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

Location: The National Portrait Gallery is conveniently located at Eighth and F Streets, NW, in Washington D.C., above the Gallery Place–Chinatown Metrorail station (red, yellow, and green lines).

Museum Hours: 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. daily. Closed December 25. Admission: FREE. For more information on visiting the museum, please visit the National Portrait Gallery's web site.