Front room, Claribel Cone's apartment (8B) Marlborough Apartments, Baltimore, 1941. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta Cone Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, CEHOMES.13.
The Cone sisters’ passion for collecting modern art began in 1898, when Etta Cone received $300 to spruce up the family home. Rather than buy new curtains or sofa pillows, Etta picked up five paintings by the American Impressionist Theodore Robinson in New York.
The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, presents The Cone Sisters Collect as a complement to the Nasher Museum’s Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters. The exhibition is on view November 3, 2012 - February 17, 2013.
The Weatherspoon first began collecting works of art in the 1940s. The museum received a generous gift in 1950 when Etta Cone bequeathed part of her and her sister Claribel’s collection to the museum. The Weatherspoon was the beneficiary of a gift of 242 works, including those by Raoul Dufy, John Graham, Marie Laurencin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Jacques Villon, among others.The collection includes 18th-century Japanese ukiyo-e prints, Persian miniatures, works on paper by the artists listed above and other artists, including Ferdinand Gold and Ladislas Medgyes.
Lecture: Porter Aichele
Sunday, November 18, 2 PM, Weatherspoon Art Museum
Porter Aichele, professor emerita at UNCG's Department of Art, presents a talk, "Etta Cone's Displays of Comprehension," at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Using archival photographs and publications found in Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone's vast art library, Aichele proposes that Etta's displays of art in her early 20th-century Baltimore apartment were not simply a form of interior decor, but were carefully planned to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of Matisse's theories about painting.
Sources: Ellen B. Hirschland and Nancy Hirschland Ramage, The Cone Sisters of Baltimore: Collecting at Full Tilt (2008, Northwestern University Press, $34.95) and Karen Levitov, Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore (2011, Yale University Press).