Avery Library and Rare Book & Manuscript Library Major Lenders to Florine Stettheimer Exhibition in Munich
NEW YORK, August 5, 2014 –

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) are pleased to announce Columbia’s participation as a major lender to the exhibition Florine Stettheimer at the Lenbachhaus in Munich, Germany, from September 27, 2014 through January 4, 2015. The exhibit will include 9 large-scale paintings from Columbia’s collections including Stettheimer’s highly regarded 1923 portraits of herself, and of her sisters Carrie and Ettie, as well as maquettes for her stage production of Four Saints in Three Acts, a collaboration with Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein.

Stett2 Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer, 1923, oil on canvas laid on board, 40 3/8 x 26 1/4 in. (102.2 x 66.8 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967 (1967.17.09)

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) was a well-known New York City-based painter and designer who, with her sisters Ettie and Carrie, held regular salons in their home on the Upper West Side, socializing with avant-garde artists and writers such as Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Stieglitz, and Leo Stein.  Stettheimer initially studied at the Art Students’ League, then spent nearly 20 years in Europe with her mother and sisters, where she was exposed to early modernist art forms such as Post-Impressionism and Fauvism, which were influential on her art.  After 1917 she developed her own idiosyncratic, fluid style that remains influential on some artists today.

“Stettheimer’s work fascinates viewers because it offers a new, feminist vision about modernism in the early twentieth century,” said Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties.  “Rather than canvases of non-objective abstractions or gestural brushstrokes of color, Stettheimer’s paintings emphasize narrativity and frequently depict recognizable people in her life, but represented as if they are lithe, sinuous dancers in timeless landscapes. We are thrilled to participate in this exhibition and bring Stettheimer’s  extraordinary work into public view.”  

Columbia University holds the largest collection of Stettheimer’s works, including more than 60 paintings, drawings, and decorative arts in Art Properties, Avery Library.  The Stettheimer holdings in RBML include sketchbooks, archival  papers, stage props and costumed maquettes.  The Stettheimer collection was a bequest to Columbia’s collections in 1967 from the estate of her sister Ettie, a graduate of Barnard College.

The Lenbachhaus in Munich is renowned internationally for its collection of works by the Blue Rider artists, an important modernist group active in Munich prior to World War I.  In an effort to introduce European audiences to alternative approaches of modernism, the Lenbachhaus will introduce Stettheimer as one of a series of artists who developed their own distinctive visual languages and pioneered new approaches to art. 

Art Properties oversees the art collections owned by Columbia University. Comprised of approximately 15,000 works of art in all media, the collections include works from all cultures and time periods. Highlights include public outdoor sculpture with works by Auguste Rodin, Daniel Chester French, Henry Moore, and others; fine art photography from daguerreotypes to Andy Warhol polaroids to contemporary works; and the Sackler Collection of over 2,000 Asian art works. The Art Properties collections are available for research consultation and curricular use, and also may be requested for loan to special exhibitions. artproperties@library.columbia.edu

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff and hosts over 4.7 million visitors each year.  The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

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