Stein, Gertrude

NOVELIST, CRITIC (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
BORN 3 Feb 1874, Allegheny, Pennsylvania - DIED 29 Jul 1946, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 94)

Getrude Stein was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Vienna and then France with her parents when she was three years old. They went back to the USA in 1878. Her parents died in 1888 and 1891 and her brother Michael took over the family business. Gertrude studied at Johns Hopkins Medical School, but she left in 1901 without obtaining a degree.

In 1903 she went to Paris, where she lived until 1914 with her brother Leo, who worked as an art critic. They collected works by Picasso, Matisse and other young painters. Their salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus was visited by Apollinaire.

On September 8, 1907 she met Alice B. Toklas, who was to be her partner for life. When she introduced Alice to Picasso he was busy painting "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon".

Alice moved in with Gertrude in 1910. In 1914 Leo moved out to Italy and their art collection was split up. Gertrude kept most of the Picasso paintings. During the First World War Stein and Toklas drove supplies to hospitals and later they were honoured by the government for this work.

In the 1920s her salon - still at the 27 Rue de Fleurus - was visited by authors like Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. She also met Mina Loy and they became friends for life. Stein was a prolific writer herself, but she had little succes until she published "Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" in 1933.

During the Second World War they moved to the country where they were only known as Americans, allthough they were both Jewish. They were probably protected by Bernard Faÿ, who had connections to the Gestapo and landed in prison after the war. She died of cancer of the stomach in 1946 and was buried at Père Lachaise. She left her art collection to Alice B. Toklas, who joined her in the grave in 1967.

Related persons
• was visited by Joyce, James

Sources
• Reeth, Adelaïde van & Guido Peeters, Herinneringen in Steen, De Haan/Unieboek, Houten, 1988
Gertrude Stein - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 Nov 2006)

 


Steiner, Felix Martin

Published: 21 Oct 2007
Last update: 21 Oct 2007