First Major New York Exhibition in Over 20 Years Devoted to American Painter Florine Stettheimer Opens at the Jewish Museum in May 2017

Florine Stettheimer, Family Portrait II, 1933, oil on canvas. Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1956

Release Date: November 21, 2016

First Major New York Exhibition in Over 20 Years Devoted to American Painter Florine Stettheimer Opens at the Jewish Museum in May 2017

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New York, NY – In May 2017, the first major New York exhibition in over 20 years focused on artist Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) will open at the Jewish Museum. Showcasing over 50 paintings and drawings in addition to costume and theater designs, photographs, and ephemera, the exhibition will offer a timely reconsideration of this influential American painter with a sharp satirical wit, placing her centrally in the modern dialogue of high and mass culture. Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is organized by the Jewish Museum, New York, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, and will be on view in New York City from May 5 through September 24, 2017, and subsequently in Toronto from October 21, 2017 to January 28, 2018.

The painter, designer, and poet Florine Stettheimer is an icon of Jazz Age Manhattan. Born to a wealthy Jewish family in Rochester, New York, she studied at the Art Students League in New York City and then in Europe, where she encountered two profound influences: the Symbolist painters and poets, and, on the eve of World War I, the Ballets Russes. Returning to New York, she hosted an elite salon with her sisters Carrie and Ettie, and their mother, Rosetta, attracting many of the leading lights of the artistic vanguard. Her circle included Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, Georgia O’Keeffe, Elie Nadelman, Gaston Lachaise, and many others. Among her intimate friends was Marcel Duchamp. Flamboyant and epicurean, Florine Stettheimer was an astute commentator on her social milieu and the American scene. Her paintings borrowed from a wide variety of sources and contributed to the beginnings of a feminist aesthetic.

The exhibition will present Stettheimer’s work in the context of the social and intellectual milieu of early twentieth-century New York, exploring the artist’s fascinating position as an American modernist whose work exuberantly reflects on the mass culture of her times. Over four decades of cultural development, from the Gilded to the Jazz Age, the exhibition will examine Stettheimer’s unique artistic style, her position as a link between groups within the New York art world, and her continued influence on artistic practice today.

“The time is ripe for a reappraisal of Stettheimer’s artistic achievement and her distinctive role in modern art,” said Stephen Brown, co-curator of the exhibition and Associate Curator, The Jewish Museum. “Stettheimer’s original intentions are private and unknowable, and her works resist categorical interpretation. Instead, they keep generating meaning and attracting new admirers,” observed Georgiana Uhlyarik, exhibition co-curator and Associate Curator, the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is organized by Stephen Brown, Neubauer Family Foundation Associate Curator, The Jewish Museum, and Georgiana Uhlyarik, Associate Curator, Canadian Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario. The exhibition was designed by Galia Solomonoff and Alejandro Stein of SAS/Solomonoff Architecture Studio.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Jewish Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Yale University Press are publishing a 168-page catalogue by Stephen Brown and Georgiana Uhlyarik. This beautifully illustrated publication with 150 color images, including many of the artist’s extant paintings, as well as drawings, theater designs, and ephemera, also highlights Stettheimer’s poetry and gives her a long overdue critical reassessment. The essays – as well as a roundtable discussion by seven leading contemporary female artists – overturn the traditional perception of Stettheimer as an artist of novelties. Her work is linked not only to American modernism and the New York bohemian scene before World War II but also to a range of art practices active today. The hardcover book will be available worldwide and at the Jewish Museum’s Cooper Shop for $45.00.

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Estate of Stella Gordon Meierfeld.

Endowment support is provided by The Skirball Fund for American Jewish Life Exhibitions, the Neubauer Family Foundation, and the Joan Rosenbaum Exhibition Fund.

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Located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, the Jewish Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, offering intellectually engaging, educational, and provocative exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 works of art, artifacts, and broadcast media reflecting global Jewish identity, and presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions.

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