Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944
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)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Salons--New York (State)--New York|
|Ballets--Stories, plots, etc|
|Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery|
|Art, Modern--20th century|