Gertrude and Leo Stein have suddenly become important to me. My future visit to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art is the driving force behind this sudden urgent acquaintance with these two important supporters of the arts, and noted intellectuals, who spent many years of their adult lives residing in Paris. During that time, they became enamoured by the New Art that was surfacing and beginning, but barely, to have a voice. Gertrude and her brother provided open house salons at their home that acquainted so many individuals, amongst them now important authors, with the paintings of Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, and Derain. It's quite a gift to be actively open to new ideas in the arts, and with that zest, curiosity, and their inherited wealth, these two individuals were able to purchase many paintings by those artists in the early years of their art careers. Their other brother and his wife also became avid collectors, especially of the work of Matisse, whom they befriended. And Gertrude favored the work of Picasso, and shared a frienship with him, eventually collecting a large body of his work. Those were amazing times, as history was being written. And so much of contemporary art would not exist as we know it, without the new directions these artists launched. Eventually, it was they who introduced such artwork to the San Francisco Bay Area. I'll have more to report on this topic after my visit to the museum. And I'm sure I'll be reading more about the lives of these individuals in the near future.
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