Stein, Leo, 1872-1947

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Leo Stein (1872-1947) shared the enthusiasm for art and literature with his sister, Gertrude, when they lived together in Paris during the early part of the 20th century. After his break with her in 1913, he concentrated on painting and aesthetic criticism.

From the description of Leo Stein Collection 1892-1950. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81096298

From the description of Leo Stein Collection 1892-1950. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702148161

Leo Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1872, the fourth surviving child in the family of Daniel and Amelia Stein. In 1874, his sister, Gertrude, was born. Due to the changing fortunes of the family and the difference in ages between siblings, Leo and Gertrude came, in a sense, to raise each other, their own fates linked for several decades. [A timeline provided in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers pinpoints significant events in their lives.] In brief, Leo attended Harvard for several years, took a trip around the world with his cousin Fred Stein in 1895, and matriculated to Johns Hopkins along with Gertrude, where he was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in 1898. The two established housekeeping in Paris in 1903 at 27 Rue de Fleurus, by which time Leo had happened upon a vocation. He began to paint and continued until his death producing landscapes and nudes. These early years in Paris were spent acquiring paintings, as well. Gertrude and Leo collected works by the then little-known artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cezanne.

The first ten years in Paris were busy and fruitful, with Leo pursuing his art and Gertrude her writing. They both fell in love. Leo with Nina Auzias, an artist's model, and Gertrude with Alice B. Toklas, a fellow expatriate from California. These changes in their lives, however, were what helped to precipitate their eventual break. Perhaps due to Leo's jealousy over Alice, perhaps due to Gertrude's frustration at Leo's dismissal of her work, in 1913, when the two were on either side of 40, they parted for good. Leo took Nina to live with him in Settignano, Italy, and Gertrude remained in Paris on the Rue de Fleurus with Alice. Leo wrote occasionally to Gertrude, usually to clarify matters of their estates, but the acrimonious rift would never be healed.

Leo spent several years in North America during World War I, separated from Nina. He continued to paint, and to write critically about art, but his principal interest in these later years was psychoanalysis. He would spend significant amounts of time, money, and energy during the subsequent decades undergoing intense Freudian therapy to undo the burdensome neuroses he described so often in letters to friends. He finally married Nina in 1921, and sold the bulk of his art collection to the American collector Albert Barnes in the 1920s. In 1927, he published a collection of his critical writings on art as The A-B-C of Aesthetics . He continued writing over the next two decades, proposing to collect more of his essays which brought together his ruminations on aesthetics, metaphysics, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. In 1947, he brought out this compilation as Appreciation: Painting, Poetry and Prose . He had just begun to receive laudatory critical reviews of the book when he was informed that his ongoing stomach problems were caused by cancer. He died on July 29, 1947, barely one year later than his sister Gertrude had died, and of the same ailment that had killed her. He was survived only by his wife Nina, who lived on in Settignano for two years until committing suicide in 1949.

Leo's cousin Fred Stein, along with several friends, gathered together a selection of Leo Stein's letters and writings as a tribute to him. They were published in 1950 as Journey Into the Self .

From the guide to the Leo Stein Collection, 1892-1950, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Maurice Sterne papers, 1912-1963 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive, 1728-1986. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn John Reed papers, 1903-1967. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Leo Stein Collection, 1892-1950 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Mabel Dodge Luhan papers, 1859-1961, 1913-1951 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 (bulk 1880-1986). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Roché, Henri Pierre, 1879-1959. Henri Pierre Roché Papers, 1886-1971. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Russell, Morgan, 1886-1953. Morgan Russell papers, 1891-1977. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Mellquist, Jerome. Jerome Mellquist letters to Lucie Wiese, 1939-1948. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Henri Pierre Roché Papers TXRC96-A14., ca. 1886-1971 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Microfilm of the Morgan Russell papers, 1891-1977 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Stein, Leo, 1872-1947. Leo Stein Collection 1892-1950. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Trigant Burrow papers, 1875-1984 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969. Paul Burlin papers, 1915-1974. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Edward Bruce papers, 1902-1960 (bulk 1932-1942) Archives of American Art
creatorOf Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943. Edward Bruce papers, 1902-1960 (bulk 1932-1942). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Pach, Walter, 1883-1958. Walter Pach papers, 1883-1980. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Stein family photograph album [graphic] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Russell, Morgan, 1886-1953. Morgan Russell archives and collection, 1884, 1908-1959. Montclair Art Museum
creatorOf Stein, Leo, 1872-1947. Leo Stein Collection 1892-1950. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970. Martin Birnbaum papers, 1862-1970. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Rosenshine, Annette, 1880-1971. Annette Rosenshine papers, 1885-1998 (bulk 1907-1971). UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957. Maurice Sterne papers, 1912-1963. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Luhan, Mabel Dodge, 1879-1962. Mabel Dodge Luhan papers, 1859-1961 (bulk 1913-1951). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Walter Pach papers, 1880-1980 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Armer, Ruth, 1896-1977,. Oral history interview with Ruth Armer, 1974 Aug. 14 [sound recording]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Armer, Ruth, 1896-1977. Ruth Armer interview, 1974 Aug. 14. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. Gertrude Stein photographs from the Paul Padgette collection [graphic] / photographed by Carl Van Vechten. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Burrow, Trigant, 1875-1950. Trigant Burrow papers, 1875-1984 (inclusive), 1903-1950 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Savage, C. R. (Charles Roscoe), 1832-1909,. Photographs, circa 1900s. Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Rosenshine, Annette, 1880-1971. Life's Not a Paragraph : ms., [undated]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Stein, Leo, 1872-1947. Letter, 1926, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Luhan, Mabel Dodge, 1879-1962. Mabel Dodge Luhan papers, 1859-1961 (bulk 1913-1951). Yale University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Armer, Ruth, 1896-1977, person
associatedWith Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951. person
associatedWith Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959. person
associatedWith Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970. person
associatedWith Boas, George, 1891-1980. person
associatedWith Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943. person
associatedWith Burlin, Paul, 1886-1969. person
associatedWith Burrow, Trigant, 1875-1950. person
associatedWith Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952. person
associatedWith Haydn, Hiram Collins, 1907-1973. person
associatedWith Komroff, Manuel, 1890-1974. person
associatedWith Luhan, Mabel Dodge, 1879-1962. person
associatedWith Mellquist, Jerome. person
associatedWith Morgan Russell person
associatedWith Pach, Walter person
associatedWith Pach, Walter, 1883-1958. person
correspondedWith Reed, John, 1887-1920 person
associatedWith Roché, Henri Pierre, 1879-1959 person
associatedWith Rosenshine, Annette, 1880-1971. person
correspondedWith Russell, Morgan, 1886-1953. person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. person
associatedWith Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957. person
associatedWith Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. person
associatedWith Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
France
France
Paris (France)
Paris (France)
Paris (France)
Subject
American history/20th century
Authors, American--20th century--Archives
Modernism (Art)
Art, Modern--20th century
Americans--France--History--20th century
Occupation
Authors
Artists
Function

Person

Birth 1872

Death 1947-07-29

Americans

English

Information

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