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Stettheimer, Florine, 1871-1944



  • Existence: 1871-08-29 - 1944-05-11


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 FourSaints 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.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Anna Marble-Pollock cat collection

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1541

The collection contains photographs and other visual materials, objects, papers, printed material, and sound recordings relating to cats, Anna Marble-Pollock, and Carl Van Vechten.

Dates: 1827-circa 1966

Florine and Ettie Stettheimer papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 20

The papers contain correspondence, diaries, writings, materials related to the production of Four Saints in Three Acts and the paintings of Florine Stettheimer, and miscellaneous papers.

Dates: 1898-1974 (inclusive), bulk 1906-1953

Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O'Keeffe archive

Call Number: YCAL MSS 85
Abstract: The Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keeffe Archive contains correspondence files, manuscripts, documentary ephemera, photographs, art and realia related to the lives and careers of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, his second wife, and to other members of Stieglitz's family.The first subgroup, Alfred Stieglitz Papers, consists of material documenting Stieglitz's life's work: correspondence with artists, photographers, and writers; manuscripts by Stieglitz and others describing the art...
Dates: 1728-1986, bulk 1880-1986

The Virgil Thomson Papers

Call Number: MSS 29, MSS 29A

Music, correspondence and other papers, photographs, and additional materials by and about the American composer and critic Virgil Thomson (1896-1989)

Dates: 1804-1990 (inclusive)

Carl Van Vechten Papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1050

The Carl Van Vechten Papers includes correspondence, writings, photographs, scrapbooks and albums, and artwork documenting Carl Van Vechten's activities as a writer, photographer, and patron of the arts.

Dates: 1866-1986

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Art, Modern -- 20th Century 2
Artists 2
Authors -- United States -- 20th century 2
Paintings (visual works) 2
Photographers -- United States 2