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Great Twentieth-Century Patrons of Art and Their Artists: From Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism

Karen Butler, PhD

This two-lecture series will explore five of the most important American patrons of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art: Dr. Albert C. Barnes, Katherine S. Dreier, Peggy Guggenheim, and Gertrude and Leo Stein. Between them, these collectors amassed some of the most significant collections of art in the twentieth century, including works by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. The series will begin with Gertrude and Leo Stein, perhaps most famous for introducing Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to each other. We will then examine the unique collecting practices of Dr. Albert C. Barnes in Merion, Pennsylvania; investigate Katherine S. Dreier, who with artists Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray founded the Société Anonyme, an organization designed to support and generate awareness of modernist art; and ultimately conclude with Peggy Guggenheim and her gallery, the Art of This Century, which launched the careers of a number of America’s great Abstract Expressionist painters.

March 2: Gertrude and Leo Stein; Dr. Albert C. Barnes

March 16: Katherine S. Dreier and Peggy Guggenheim

Instructor: Karen Butler is an independent scholar and curator. She has held positions as associate curator at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis and as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow studying the works of Henri Matisse at the Barnes Foundation. She completed her PhD in art history at Columbia University with a specialty in twentieth-century European art.

Coordinator: Joy Urich

Course Number: OSHR-70095   Credit: 0 units


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