|Towering Stature: In this photograph by Cecil Beaton,|
Stein towers over herself
as if her epic stature is too great
to be contained in the frame.
Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's
The avant-garde writer became widely known in America after the 1933 publication of “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” which, despite the misleading title, Stein wrote herself, about life with her lesbian partner, Toklas. Additional favorable attention followed the 1934 Broadway opening of her antic opera, “Four Saints in Three Acts,” with music by Virgil Thomson and choreography by Frederick Ashton.
Stein’s success as a writer in America was preceded by education at Radcliffe College and years of residence in Paris. She became friends with Matisse, Picasso and other artists whose paintings Gertrude and her brother Leo could afford to buy, thanks to profits from their family’s San Francisco streetcar investments. -- Joel Schechter, Forward
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