Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944

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American artist, theatrical set designer.

Stettheimer is perhaps best known for the lavish sets and costumes she designed for the first American production, in 1934, of Gertrude Stein's opera FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS, with music by Virgil Thomson.

From the description of Papers, [ca. 1920]-1940. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309772203

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944), artist, studied in Europe and presided over a salon in New York City from 1915 until her death. She had a one person exhibition in 1916 and designed the sets and costumes for the Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson opera Four Saints in Three Acts.

Henrietta Walter Stettheimer (1875-1955), author, graduated from Barnard College and received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Freiburg. She published two novels, Philosophy (1917) and Love Days (1923), using the pseudonym Henrie Waste and after the death of her sister devoted herself to enhancing Florine's artistic reputation.

From the description of Florine and Ettie Stettheimer papers, 1898-1974 (inclusive), 1906-1953 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702131661

Florine Stettheimer, born on August 19, 1871, and Henrietta (Ettie) Stettheimer, born on July 31, 1875, in Rochester, New York, were two of the three Stettheimer sisters who, from 1915 to 1941, presided over one of New York City's most cosmopolitan salons. Florine was a painter, Ettie an author, and Carrie, the third sister, created a dollhouse, famous for its miniature art works made especially for it by important artists of the period. The three sisters never married. They lived with their mother, Rosetta Walter Stettheimer, until her death in 1935, fiercely protective of one another because their father had abandoned the family. Florine, Ettie and Carrie Stettheimer had an older sister, Stella, and a brother, Walter, both of whom, after their marriages, moved to California.

Florine studied art from 1892 to 1895 at the Art Students League of New York. In the early 1900s Florine, her sisters, and their mother lived in Europe. Florine studied art in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Switzerland. The four Stettheimers returned to New York in 1915.

In 1916 Florine had a one person exhibition at M. Knoedler and Co. Gallery and although she exhibited paintings in later shows, she never had another solo exhibition. During this same period, she wrote a ballet, Orphee of the Four Arts, which interested the dancer Adolphe Bolm, but was not produced.

During her lifetime, Florine was best known for designing the stagesets and costumes for Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's opera Four Saints in Three Acts (1934). Only her family and friends like Carl Van Vechten, Marsden Hartley, Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Stieglitz, Pavel Tchelitchew, Carl Sprinchorn, and Henry McBride knew much about her paintings. Florine generally painted alone and never allowed anyone to see her works until they were finished. The paintings, usually portraits, were "unveiled" at parties hosted by Carrie, who was known for her elaborate meals.

Florine became ill in 1942 and died May 11, 1944 in New York Hospital. Carrie died just six weeks later.

Henrietta Walter Stettheimer graduated from Barnard in 1896 and received an M.A. in psychology in 1898. In 1908 Ettie received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Freiburg. Under the pseudonym Henrie Waste, she published two novels, Philosophy, (1917) and Love Days, (1923).

Ettie was the most outgoing and the most flirtatious of the sisters. She guided the conversation and was the intellectual focus of the gatherings, held at the Stettheimer's West 85th Street residence, Alwyn Court; their summer home, "Andre Brook," in Tarrytown; and the Beaux Arts building on Sixth Avenue, where Florine had her studio.

After 1930 Ettie wrote little except letters. Following the deaths of Florine and Carrie, Ettie spent her remaining years attending to her sisters' affairs. She gave Carrie's doll house to the Museum of the City of New York and distributed Florine's paintings among the nation's most important art museums. Ettie approved several posthumous exhibitions of Florine's work and in 1949 published a book of Florine's poems, which Carl Van Vechten titled Crystal Flowers . Finally, in 1951, Ettie published her own Memorial Volume which contained her previously published Philosophy and Love Days, her dissertation on William James, and four short stories. Ettie Stettheimer died on June 1, 1955 in New York City.

For additional information, see Florine Stettheimer: A Life in Art by Parker Tyler (1963) and Florine Stettheimer: Still Lifes, Portraits, and Pageants by Elisabeth Sussman (1980).

From the guide to the Florine and Ettie Stettheimer papers, 1898-1974 (inclusive), 1906-1953, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. The Virgil Thomson papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Stettheimer, Florine : Biographical file. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
referencedIn Hopwood, Julie. Letter, 1928 Aug. 30, Cleveland, to Etta Stettheimer, Tarrytown, N.Y. University of Michigan
referencedIn Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hopwood, Avery, 1882-1928. Avery Hopwood papers, 1898, 1911-28, 1933-66. University of Michigan
creatorOf Stettheimer, Florene. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944. Florine Stettheimer : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
referencedIn Peter A. Juley & Son. [Florine Stettheimer] [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Florine and Ettie Stettheimer papers, 1898-1974 (inclusive), 1906-1953 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Cowden, Roy William. Correspondence, about Avery Hopwood letters and ana, 1933-1951. University of Michigan
referencedIn Stettheimer, Ettie. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1927-1930. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Carl Van Vechten papers, 1833-1965, 1920-1940 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Stettheimer, Carrie W. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1933. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944. Florine and Ettie Stettheimer papers, 1898-1974 (inclusive), 1906-1953 (bulk). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944. Papers, [ca. 1920]-1940. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Durlacher Bros. records, 1919-1973 Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. The Virgil Thomson papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf McBride, Henry, 1867-1962. Henry McBride papers, 1887-1962. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Hergesheimer, Joseph, 1880-1954. Letter and miscellaneous material [manuscript], 1923 November 15, n.d. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 (bulk 1880-1986). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hopwood, Avery, 1884-1928. Papers, 1898, 1911-28, 1933-66. University of Michigan
creatorOf STETTHEIMER, FLORINE. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Roditi, Edouard. Edouard Roditi letters : to Steven Watson, 1991 Jul 26-1992 Feb 26. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive, 1728-1986. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Florine Stettheimer Papers, [ca. 1920]-1940 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935. Charles Demuth papers, [ca. 1890-1936]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn The Virgil Thomson Papers, 1804-1990 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
creatorOf Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. Carl Van Vechten papers, 1833-1965, bulk (1920-1940). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Roditi, Edouard. Edouard Roditi letters : to Steven Watson, 1991 Jul 26-1992 Feb 26. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stettheiner, Florine, 1871-1944 : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. Letters, to Prof. R.W. Cowden, 1934-1953. University of Michigan
creatorOf Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944. Letter, 1935 Jan. 13, New York, to [R. W.] Cowden [Ann Arbor] University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers. corporateBody
associatedWith American Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers. corporateBody
associatedWith Balm, Adolphe. person
associatedWith Balm, Adolphe. person
associatedWith Cowden, Roy William. person
associatedWith Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935. person
associatedWith Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968. person
associatedWith Durlacher Bros. corporateBody
associatedWith Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961. person
associatedWith Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943. person
associatedWith Hergesheimer, Joseph, 1880-1954. person
associatedWith Hopwood, Avery, 1882-1928. person
associatedWith Hopwood, Julie. person
associatedWith James, William, 1842-1910. person
associatedWith Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935. person
associatedWith Locher, Robert. person
associatedWith Locher, Robert. person
associatedWith McBride, Henry, 1867-1962. person
associatedWith McKibbin, David. person
associatedWith Mueller, Philip, 1880- person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Museum of the City of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946. person
associatedWith O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986. person
associatedWith Peter A. Juley & Son corporateBody
associatedWith Roditi, Edouard. person
associatedWith Rosenfeld, Paul, 1890-1946. person
associatedWith Sprinchorn, Carl, 1887-1971. person
associatedWith Steichen, Edward, 1879-1973. person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. person
associatedWith Steir, Leo, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith Stettheimer, Carrie W. person
associatedWith Stettheimer, Ettie. person
associatedWith Stettheimer family. family
associatedWith Stettheimer family. family
associatedWith Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946. person
associatedWith Tchelitchew, Pavel, 1898-1957. person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896- person
associatedWith Thomson, Virgil, 1896-1989. person
associatedWith Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. person
associatedWith Wescott, Glenway, 1901-1987. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Rochester NY US
New York NY US
Subject
Salons--New York (State)--New York
Ballets--Stories, plots, etc
Salons
Art--American (?)--Reproductions
Portrait painting
Opera--United States
Puppet plays
Costume
Art, American
Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery
Art museums
Opera
Books--Reviews
Art--Exhibitions
Art criticism
Theater--Reviews
Art, Modern--20th century
Poetry
Occupation
Women artists
Designer
Set designers
Poets
Artists--United States
Painters (artists)
Function

Person

Birth 1871-08-29

Death 1944-05-11

Americans

Information

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