Trivium Art HistoryThe Artists

Florine StettheimerNon-competitive art for the literati, gay and polyglot

Florine Stettheimer was a U.S. Badass Female Artist born on August 29, 1871. Stettheimer and died on May 11, 1944.

Florine Stettheimer lived in a strange world of wealth and travel at the dawn of the 20th century. Born into a family of German Jews, Florine and her two youngest sisters, Carrie and Ettie, are in many ways, archetypes of the ‘new woman’ — they refused marriage, lived with their mother, smoked cigarettes, and wore white satin pants.

The sisters, the ‘Stetties’, spent their 30’s in Germany, mingling with American ex-patriots, and studying art in Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich. At the beginning of WWI they returned to New York, where they turned their Upper West Side into a salon for the “contemporary literati, gay and polyglot New Yorkers and European expatriates”

The Stettheimer salon became a hub for art shows and parties, frequented by an extraordinary number of the great modern artists. Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Charles Demuth, and Marsden Hartley all drank and lounged and flirted with the Stettie sisters.

In the middle of this milieu, Florine painted — uninterested in acceptance by the art critics of the time, her work was part documentation and part mythology. She painted herself as a confidant odalisque, painted Duchamp perched on a Jack-on-the-Box, and recorded the decadent festival atmosphere of New York’s elite.

Though her paintings vibrate with color and life, Florine herself was a shy artist, uninterested in popular recognition. She had only one public solo show — at Manhattan’s Knoedler & Co art dealership, where none of her paintings sold. Florine’s considered her work to be an “entirely private pursuit” and requested that all her paintings be burned when she died. Luckily for us, her sister Ettie instead gifted her work to museums around the world, providing the future with a glimpse into the florid world of New York’s artistic playground at the turn of the century.

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Self-Portrait

1915

Lake Placid

1919

Heat

1919

Music

1920

Henry McBride, Art Critic

1922

Portrait Of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer

1923

Beauty Contest: To the Memory of P.T. Barnum

1924

Portrait of Marcel Duchamp

1923-1926

The Cathedrals of Broadway

1929

The Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue

1931

Birthday Bouquet (Flowers With Snake)

1932

Family Portrait, II

1933

The Cathedrals of Wall Street

1939

The Cathedrals of Art

1942

Crystal Flowers: Poems and a Libretto

Sad poems from a strange artist

1949

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