Bearded Thoughts Travels | The Cone Sisters Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Museum

By Gryphon MacThoy for Between Quarters – A Travel Guide for Busy Academics –

We are lucky here in Seattle to have lots of interesting museums. Many are very focused, like the Museum of Flight or the Seattle Asian Art Museum. We even get great exhibits, such as the recent, very popular, Picasso and Gauguin exhibits at the Seattle Art Museum. Sometimes, a nearby city has an exhibit so amazing, it’s worth the drive or train ride to go see it. The Cone Sisters exhibit showing right now at the Vancouver Art Museum in Vancouver, BC, is a great example.

The Cone Sisters were an audacious pair of women who, among other things, collected art during the early 20th century. One might say they collected Artists, too. While they befriended many artists, the exhibit in Vancouver focuses on their relationship with Henri Matisse. Many of his most famous works are a part of their collection. Right now, you can see these works and others by Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, and more after a three hour drive. Normally, you would have to travel to Baltimore, OH, where the permanent exhibit is housed.

By gracious permission of the Vancouver Art Museum, NCC was permitted to take photos. While we wanted to take reproduction quality shots of the art, we think you must go see this in person. Our photos focus on the curator’s way of telling these fascinating women’s story. Above you’ll find details of some of their textiles collection, images of the main exhibit halls, and even a chance encounter with Bill Pusztai, a Vancouver local, artist, and photographer who happened to be visiting the exhibit while we were there for our story. (All photos are (c) New City Collegian 2012, by G. MacThoy.)

The exhibit pulls the viewer through time to explore the personal relationships involved. What seems like name dropping of artists turns out to be a normal Tuesday tea-time guest list for the Cone Sisters. We can experience some of those moments as we look upon Matisse’s progression as an artist, and wonder how much the Cone Sisters influenced him, and he them. The Cone Sisters friendship (and more) with Gertrude Stein is well told, and how Gertrude’s brother, Leo, served as an early art tour guide for the Cones in Florence, drinking, smoking and walking in the forest… just one of the many personal tales available.

Go see this collection. Be influenced by women living ahead of their time and their love of art.

The Cone Sisters exhibit will be at the Vancouver Art Museum until September 30 2012.

750 Hornby Street
, BC
V6Z 2H7

Info Line: 604.662.4719
Administration: 604.662.4700

Gallery Hours
Daily 10 am to 5 pm
Tuesdays until 9 pm
Sundays until 9 pm, from May 27 to Sept. 30, 2012.

Costs $20 for adults, $15 with a student ID.
Class or Group Trips should contact the Administration line above.


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