Monday, July 25, 2011

The Cone Sisters & Henri Matisse

I went to the Jewish Museum yesterday afternoon and was blown away by the exhibit about the Cone Sisters & their art collection. They were from Baltimore and very revolutionary in their interest in Modern Art. Their brothers were in the textile industry and when their father died, asked them to go to New York City to spend $300 on items to enliven the family home. They spent the money on 5 pieces of new modern art, which began a lifetime of collecting. This thoughtful exhibit showcases their exquisite art collection, but what fascinated me was their friendship with Henri Matisse. Seeing his work in this context really struck a chord with me - the colors seemed louder & purer & more beautiful than ever before.

"Colors have a beauty of their own which must be preserved, as one strives to preserve pure tones in music. It is a question of organization and construction that is sensitive to maintaining this beautiful freshness of color... What counts most with color are relationships... No doubt there are a thousand different ways of working with color. But when one composes with it, like a musician with harmonies, it is simply a question of emphasizing the differences." - Henri Matisse, 1945

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