A painting can tell a story and communicate ideas in profound and abstract ways. Take an exhibition of such paintings that features the works from artists like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Camille Pissarro and others, the result is an exhibit for art enthusiasts to get volumes of stories, evocative interpretations in paintings, stir the visual senses, and reveal stories beyond what was taught in schools. The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents the: Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore Exhibition. The exhibition highlights stories of two sisters, Dr. Claribelg and Miss Etta Cone. All works are from the collection of The Baltimore Museum of Art
The collection reflects the sister’s inspirations and passions for art and purchases made during their trips to Europe. Starting In 1905, they visited Parisian art studios and bought directly from artists. The vast art collections by iconic artists also provided opportunities to nurture deeper relationships with them. Their art treasures were hung, adorned, and place in their adjoining apartments in Baltimore, Maryland.
According to the source by Ellen B. Hirschland and Nancy Hirschland Ramage in, The Cone Sisters of Baltimore: Collecting at Full Tilt, “Claribel died in 1929, but Etta continued to acquire art and fill holes in their collection throughout the '30s and '40s before her death in 1949. Etta bequeathed the entire collection to The Baltimore Museum of Art: paintings, sculpture, works on paper, fabrics from around the world, precious lace dating from the Renaissance, jewelry in exotic gold and silver settings. After The Baltimore Museum of Art made its selections, the rest of the collection went to the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Cone sisters had amassed one of the most important modern art collections of the 20th century.”
The Cone sister’s collections “was financed by their brother’s textile empire in North Carolina in the first half of the 20th century”, according to the press release. The once a private collection in their home, it is now an exhibition that features more than 50 masterpieces at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the final venue for the exhibit. This rare opportunity welcomes anyone with the Cone sister’s same curiosity, lure for beauty, desire to be moved by art masterpieces, and visitors may be inspire to buy more art. Call it passion, obsession, or just raw art appreciation. Magan Hudson brought her three month old son, James, and she enthusiastically said, “This is his first art exhibition.” And another generation is inspired by the power of visual arts.
The exhibit is on view at the Nasher Museum of Art from November 4, 2012, through February 10, 2013. If you don’t have the money for tickets, no transportation, or home with the flu, here is a virtual sample of Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore Exhibition, and let the power of beauty help chase your cares away.