#1 2012 (34)
The New York Jewish Museum's show last year, "Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore", proved breathtaking. The exhibition displayed only a small part of what has been called "a collection of collections" of exquisite paintings, graphic works, prints, sculpture, furniture, embroidery, rugs, and textiles. But the core of the collection, its pride and glory, is Matisse, whose portraiture, still-lifes, sculpture and landscapes were on view. The exhibition told the fascinating story of the two sisters who, led by a female instinct for buying beautiful and often useless — or at least unnecessary — things, developed a perfect taste for genuine art and became distinguished collectors of 19th- and 20th-century modern European art. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever," wrote the British poet John Keats, and once the Cone sisters had experienced the joy of art, they cherished this sublime feeling throughout their lives.
THE NEW YORK JEWISH MUSEUM'S SHOW LAST YEAR, "COLLECTING MATISSE AND MODERN MASTERS: THE CONE SISTERS OF BALTIMORE", PROVED BREATHTAKING. THE EXHIBITION DISPLAYED ONLY A SMAH PART OF WHAT HAS BEEN CALLED "A COLLECTION OF COLLECTIONS" OF EXQUISITE PAINTINGS, GRAPHIC WORKS, PRINTS, SCULPTURE, FURNITURE, EMBROIDERY, RUGS, AND TEXTILES. BUT THE CORE OF THE COLLECTION, ITS PRIDE AND GLORY, IS MATISSE, WHOSE PORTRAITURE, STILL-LIFES, SCULPTURE AND LANDSCAPES WERE ON VIEW.