Gertrude Stein's letters to Picasso up for sale in Oxford

A treasure trove of works by Gertrude Stein, a key figure in 20th century art and literature, is being offered for sale at Bonham Books and Manuscripts sale at Oxford on April 27.

The sale spans Stein's literary career and includes first editions of her seminal early book of "cubist" poetry Tender Buttons (estimated at £200-400) and The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, (£600-800 in a lot to include other writings) the work which brought her international recognition.

Stein's Tender Buttons, featuring her
'cubist' poetry

Stein was a tireless letter writer and volumes of her published correspondence with friends including Picasso and the American photographer and writer Carl Van Vetchen are also for sale (£300-500).

Credited as a major influence on Ernest Hemingway, about whose circle of ex-patriot Americans she coined the phrase the, "The Lost Generation", Stein was also celebrated for her patronage of some of the world's most famous artists early in their careers. 

In the 1900s, she and her brother Leo assembled an important collection of avant garde paintings at their apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus in Paris including works by Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Gris. 

Stein wrote sympathetically about Cubism and other art movements and examples of her art criticism are included in the sale.

Stein had a life long and openly acknowledged relationship with fellow American Alice B Toklas whose famous Cook Book with its notorious recipe for Hashish Fudge is also for sale (£100-200 with other works).

Over 60 years after her death she remains a cultural presence both for her lifestyle and for her gnomic sayings, of which "A rose is a rose is a rose" is the most quoted. 


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