Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer, 1923, oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 40 3/8 × 26 1/4".

New York


The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue
May 5–September 24, 2017

Curated by Stephen Brown and Georgiana Uhlyarik

I grew up assuming Florine Stettheimer was famous, since a large painting of hers hung at my hometown museum, the Art Institute of Chicago. But it turned out I was lucky to have regular access to a Stettheimer, because even though she hosted a well-known salon and had pals like Duchamp and Stieglitz, she remained obscure to a wider art public until half a century after her death, when, in 1995, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York held a retrospective of her work. Working in private, she was able to forge a distinct pictorial terrain, with town and country rendered as sprawling polychromatic sprees. Stettheimer remains a relatively rare bird, but this spring the Jewish Museum will again “turn on her light” (to paraphrase a line from her undated poem “Occasionally”). More than fifty of this modern master’s paintings and drawings will be on display alongside a selection of her costume designs, stage sets, and assorted ephemera in a context befitting her life as the consummate insider-outsider of haute Jewish Manhattan. Travels to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 21, 2017–Jan. 28, 2018.