Monthly Archives: July 2017

Florine Stettheimer- A Life in Art by Parker Tyler

By Franklin Hill Perrell

Florine Stettheimer- A Life in Art by Parker Tyler
(Published 1963, Farrar, Strauss, and Company, Inc.)
Book designed by Patricia de Groot
“Prelude” by Carl Van Vechten

I had the good fortune to be given this book by my family when I was twelve years of age. The book was published in 1963, and this was three years after that. Looking at it now, I realize better what it meant to me. First, the introduction by Carl Van Vechten – famed as both a literary figure, critic and novelist, as well as photographer, created a link to the intellectual world of NY from the 30’s to the 50’s with reference spanning the Algonquin Round Table to the Harlem Renaissnce. Stettheimer’s collaboration with Virgil Thomson evoked a living figure who was enjoying then a vogue for his recordings; Gertrude Stein as well, the other collaborator (d. 1944), also was very much in style during the 60s, everyone having read Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

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Artists Among Friends: Florine Stettheimer at the Jewish Museum and Robert Rauschenberg at MoMA

By Franklin Hill Perrell

No one has yet observed that these two exhibitions address a number of parallel points: here are artists situated amidst a cultural ambience defined by their connections with musicians, composers, dancers, photographers, and fellow artists in relationships that became embodied in the spirit of their art- with Rauschenberg, specifically, of collaboration, and with Stettheimer (though a significant moment of actual collaboration did occur) , the relationship with other artists was overtly manifest through her famed salon and as the portrait subjects, often in groups, of her art. Only one person, however, significantly overlapped in contact with both artists, the notably long lived Marcel Duchamp.

Looking at either Rauschenberg or Stettheimer in this sense, a portrait of their eras emerges in respect to avant-grade figures and trends.

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