Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Grand Palais and the use of the Diorama

Living in Oakland, California as I do, one is often quoted Gertrude Stein's famous line about the city of her childhood. "There is no there there". She said this upon returning to find her childhood home torn down. The rose bushes she loved were gone. She was NOT reflecting on the soul of the city of Oakland! 
Now you can buy a decorative flag with the word "THERE" on it to display on your front porch as it has become such a part of Oakland lore.
Henri Matisse 1905, Woman with a Hat

The current exhibit of the Stein Collection at the Grand Palais, Paris
shows the stunning oeuvre of this famous collector and her brothers, Leo and Michael.
SF Moma inherited her brother Michael's collection which  he brought  back with him when he returned to live in Palo Alto, California. There as students Richard Diebenkorn (my favorite painter) and Robert Motherwell were exposed to the collection.

This exhibit started in San Francisco, came to Paris and is now headed to New York.
BUT the thing that interests me about the exhibit is that they use a life size diaorama to show the study of the Stein family.

The famous salon of Gertrude Stein in Paris.

 Diaoramas are usually the provenance of the Natural History museums and often, um... looked down upon.
This exhibit has received some attention in it's use of a diorama to reinact the original setting of the Stein library. Interesting, no? But really it is more about the collectors than the artists themselves.

For more information on this unique person see:

And just to add to the interest of what a complex person Gertrude Stein was read which sheds light on how this Jewish woman survived in WWII France.

Too amazing.
One funny note. While being criticized, the picture, The Girl with the Green Eyes, by Matisse

Was lambasted as a crazy absinthe drinker...

Which reminds me of a favorite local restaurant my guests and I loved. Le Fee Verte in the 11e.
Really I just had white wine... but my eyes do look weird from the flash. Travelling with Shale was incredible. She made sure to see all the Heres here!

Thinking of my friend and fellow blogger Shale who is beginning chemo next Friday. Glad you are in the good hands of your daughter and foxy boyfriend! Can I bring you some absinthe? It is illegal in the US, do they allow it in Canada? You know Shale... I may have finally had enough white wine to last me.

I am eager to return to Oakland because frankly my There IS there. You know who you are.

From Paris CM


  1. I don't know if absinthe is legal in Canada, but the truth is I prefer wine. lol. I wish I had had time to see the Stein exhibit, but recovering from surgery and running to every corner of Paris took up all my time and energy. I am glad we got to the exhibit "of toys and mankind". It was almost worth the trip to Paris.

  2. Hey, you got a new Beret! It looks great. I like it better than the black one.

  3. I had to buy 3 for 6 euros! I got a pink one for CC too. Perhaps you would like one? They have every color in the rainbow. I get them by Notre Dame, where else??? C

  4. I guess a beret or two might come in handy after my hair falls out. I didn't think of that while I was there.

  5. Do you like brights or classics? Camel? Red? Let me know 3 colors. C

  6. Well, can I have a little blue beret, perhaps? And pink to support Shale!

  7. dear Carol!
    where can I get one of those wonderful ghost chairs? You seem the only one to know!

  8. Hi Neomig! wedding favor blog called Lavender and Navy, under place card holders. I will put a pic up in the post xoxo C