Friday, June 10, 2011

Gertrude Stein is in the house

I'm sensing Gertrude Stein in the zeitgeist. There is a new book "Seeing Gertrude Stein" (University of California Press) and a show at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. In conjunction, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will have programming celebrating Stein's immeasurable influence in the arts. Also, Stein is portrayed by the wonderful Kathy Bates in Woody Allen's new film, Midnight in Paris. And, since lesbians still often don't get recognized without some negative comment, a misguided writer in The New York Times Style Magazine recently referred to Stein as a "matronly frump" who has surprisingly turned into a style icon. Describing Gertrude Stein as a "matronly frump" is like calling Andy Warhol a homely virgin. It is so not the point. If that's all you can see about a genius whose influence in the arts is extraordinary, then you are really not qualified to comment. The rest of us can celebrate Stein, as SG did at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where her portrait by Picasso usually hangs. But currently it's in the show in San Francisco. At least one of Stein's trademark waistcoats will also be on display.

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