Florine Stettheimer (1871 – 1944) is an American artist best known for her four monumental and symbolic works featuring what she considered New York City’s “Cathedrals”: Broadway, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, and the Metropolitan Museum. An American modernist, Stettheimer was a feminist, theatrical designer, poet, and salonnière. Her fanciful theatrical painting style was characterized by a striking palette and often included depictions of her friends and experiences of New York City. The salon she hosted with her sisters attracted members of the avant-garde, among them recent expatriate artists (Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia) and of the Steiglitz circle (Marsden Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe) In the mid-1930s, Stettheimer created the stage designs and costumes for Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s opera, “Four Saints in Three Acts.” In 1938, she and O’Keeffe were the only women whose work was included in the first exhibition of American art sent by MOMA to Europe. The posthumous retrospective of her work organized by Duchamp at MoMA (1946) was the museum’s first retrospective exhibition of work by a woman artist.
Join us in NYC for IAC’s 28th American Art Conference, Nov. 14 – 15, 2023.
Image: Florine Stettheime. The Cathedrals of Art, 1942. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 60 1/4 × 50 1/4 in.