The Original Influencers– Gertrude Stein, Florine Stettheimer, and the Women of 20th Century Art: A Three-Part Course with Dr. Jennie Hirsh

The Original Influencers– Gertrude Stein, Florine Stettheimer, and the Women of 20th Century Art: A Three-Part Course with Dr. Jennie Hirsh


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This course will consider a selection of powerful women who hosted some of the most important exchanges of artistic, literary, and political ideas in the twentieth century. Each session will look at two or three of these historically significant figures to assess how the conversations and collections that they nurtured left indelible marks on cultural history.

We will look at the activities and attitudes of several women collectors and salonières, many of whom were Jewish, in the first part of the twentieth century. We will delve into the lives, projects, and associates of figures such as Claribel and Etta Cone, Katherine Dreier, Peggy Guggenheim, Helene Kröller-Müller, Margherita Sarfatti, Gertrude Stein, Florine Stettheimer, Salka Viertel, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, all of whom assembled important gatherings of artists and other cultural luminaries as they amassed important art collections. Alongside these women's fascinating and colorful biographies, we will study both individual examples of artworks in their collections and the movements and ideas that they promoted.

Led by an expert on modern and contemporary art history, Dr. Jennie Hirsh, this course will provide a new perspective for understanding the intimate yet far-reaching settings in which the cultural history was made. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appetite for further study of these formidable, intelligent, and influential women.

Lecture 1: The Women of Europe

This lecture will examine the lives and activities of several women based in Europe, focusing most closely on the lives and legacies of Gertrude Stein, Helene Kröller-Muller, and Margherita Sarfatti.

Lecture 2: The Women of New York

This lecture will look at the lives and activities of Katherine Dreier, Florine Stettheimer, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in the early decades of the twentieth century in New York City. While not the primary focus of this discussion, Peggy Guggenheim's New York activities through her influential Art of this Century gallery (1942-47) will be mentioned as well.

Lecture 3: The Women of Baltimore and Los Angeles

This lecture will focus on Clara and Etta Cone's collection in Baltimore as well as the west-coast but German-born actress Salka Viertel in Los Angeles whose salon provided a haven and creative hub for émigrés from Europe in the late 1930s and 1940s.

Jennie Hirsh (Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College) is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

How does it work?

This is a three-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

Is there a reading list in advance?

Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. You will receive this soon after course registration.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?

The course is $105 for three lectures.

Is a recording available?

Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording after the event.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
79%
(19)
4%
(1)
4%
(1)
4%
(1)
8%
(2)
B
Bonnie Brown (Phoenix, US)
Patrons and Friends

So enjoyable. Definitely recommend this for art lovers for a very special look at some of the progressive women who, with personality and contacts, helped so many artists. Great lecturer and information!

M
Monica Joffe (Brookline, US)
0utstanding!

Brilliant1

A
Ann Wolfe (Baltimore, US)
Women We Should More About

Loaded with good, hitherto unknown ( to me) information.

G
Gabrielle G. (Brooklyn, US)
Fantastic!

After participating in Dr. Hirsh's engaging seminar on Peggy Guggenheim, I knew I had to participate in this course - and simply stated, I LOVED it. A brilliant survey of iconic women and a truly immersive and flavorful experience in their salons and the artistic fabric of the time period. The quality of the visuals of Florine Stettheimer's work in particular! Dr. Hirsh is a brilliant storyteller. As always, I give her an A++.

S
Sarah okoon (Cincinnati, US)
Another informative lecture

Good overview of the many women who helped to acquaint the world with modern art.

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
79%
(19)
4%
(1)
4%
(1)
4%
(1)
8%
(2)
B
Bonnie Brown (Phoenix, US)
Patrons and Friends

So enjoyable. Definitely recommend this for art lovers for a very special look at some of the progressive women who, with personality and contacts, helped so many artists. Great lecturer and information!

M
Monica Joffe (Brookline, US)
0utstanding!

Brilliant1

A
Ann Wolfe (Baltimore, US)
Women We Should More About

Loaded with good, hitherto unknown ( to me) information.

G
Gabrielle G. (Brooklyn, US)
Fantastic!

After participating in Dr. Hirsh's engaging seminar on Peggy Guggenheim, I knew I had to participate in this course - and simply stated, I LOVED it. A brilliant survey of iconic women and a truly immersive and flavorful experience in their salons and the artistic fabric of the time period. The quality of the visuals of Florine Stettheimer's work in particular! Dr. Hirsh is a brilliant storyteller. As always, I give her an A++.

S
Sarah okoon (Cincinnati, US)
Another informative lecture

Good overview of the many women who helped to acquaint the world with modern art.