Scope and Contents
The collection is housed in 22 boxes and 56 broadside folders, and is organized into six series: Correspondence, Notebooks, Writings, Personal Papers, Photographs, and Artworks. Box 22 contains Oversize material.
Series I, Correspondence , is divided into three subseries: Outgoing, Incoming, and Third-Party. The Outgoing series contains mainly original letters donated by recipients, though a number of carbons retained by Leo Stein are found here as well. Among the persons included in both the Outgoing and the Incoming subseries are Leo's wife, Nina Auzias Stein, family members such as Fred Stein and Howard and Bird Sternberger Gans, Leo's college friend, Mabel Foote Weeks, Otakar Coubine [Kubin], a fellow painter he encouraged, George Boas, Bernard Berenson, Hiram Haydn, and Miriam and Joe Price. Among the other items of correspondence in the Incoming section are letters Leo Stein received concerning aesthetics and psychoanalysis from fellow writers: Adolphe Basler, Trigant Burrow, John Dewey, Manuel Komroff, R. C. Trevelyan, and about art in general from artists and collectors: Albert Barnes, Edward Bruce, Leon Kroll. Included here are letters from many of his friends, such as Norman Douglas, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Daniel and Roselle Mebane, James and Conevah Osgood, Morgan Russell, and Adele Wolman. This subseries includes letters received by Nina Stein and by Chantal Quenneville, hence the dates extending through 1949.
The Third Party correspondence pertains mainly to the settling of Leo Stein's estate and the publication of Journey Into the Self, as seen in letters between Fred Stein, Hiram Haydn, Nina Stein, and Chantal Quenneville (a long-time friend of Nina Stein's). A typescript of Fred Stein's memoir of traveling around the world with Leo Stein in 1896 is included with the letters from Fred Stein to Hiram Haydn.
Series II, Notebooks and Journals , begins with a group of holograph notebooks which served all purposes for Stein: notepad, sketchbook, commonplace book, and letter-pad. They are organized according to a numbering system apparently ascribed when they were used in the preparation of Journey Into the Self. The material in these notebooks is free-form. Though many jottings take the shape of essays, there is no distinct relation between these sketchy notes and the drafts of writings in Series III. The three journals which follow are more clearly identifiable as records of daily events during the Second World War. (The existence or whereabouts of other journals is not known.)
Series III, Writings , is composed principally of the writings of Leo Stein although Writings of Others are also present. Stein's writings include titled manuscripts, including ones for which titles could be assigned, as well as numerous folders of untitled manuscripts and fragments. Among the titled manuscripts are draft materials for Appreciation: Poetry, Painting and Prose and Journey into the Self (gathered posthumously). The only distinct evidence of The A B C of Aesthetics is a selection of reviews, though parts which made up this collection may well be found here under other titles. Many other articles for such publications as The New Republic are present in typescript or printed versions. The untitled manuscripts and fragments are filed at the end of the series in no particular order, as none could be determined. The majority of these untitled pieces deal with the recurrent themes of aesthetics, art and psychoanalysis. Among the Writings of Others are several printed pieces on art and a collection of various manuscripts by Nina Stein.
Series IV, Personal Papers , includes a group of clippings about Gertrude Stein, annotated by Leo, Leo's diploma from Johns Hopkins, and receipts for artwork by Otakar Coubine.
Series V, Photographs , principally contains prints of Leo and Nina Stein and several of their friends. Included here are a series of snapshots apparently taken during a visit to Mabel Dodge Luhan's home in Taos, as well as a number of prints of artworks, mainly by Edward Bruce.
Series VI, Artwork by Leo Stein , gathers together the principal body of his output. Drawn from the Stein estate and from several gifts, this series is divided into groups by format and subject. The majority is arranged in the order in which they were inventoried during a campus-wide fine art survey conducted in the early 1980s by Yale Art Gallery staff, as evidenced by inventory numbers affixed to the canvases or boards. (The two exceptions to this being the paintings received from Cone and Keck, which were not inventoried and are arranged in the order they were received.) Central subjects tend to be landscapes (most likely of the Italian hills around Settignano) and studies of female nudes. The oil paintings on canvas had been removed from their stretchers by the time the collection was processed in 1995.
The single item in the Oversize section is a photograph from Series V.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
19.25 Linear Feet ((22 boxes) + 56 broadside folders)
Language of Materials
Many letters to Leo Stein for the period before 1913 can be found in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers, YCAL MSS 76, also owned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
LEO STEIN (1872-1947)
The first ten years in Paris were busy and fruitful, with Leo pursuing his art and Gertrude her writing. They both fell in love. Leo with Nina Auzias, an artist's model, and Gertrude with Alice B. Toklas, a fellow expatriate from California. These changes in their lives, however, were what helped to precipitate their eventual break. Perhaps due to Leo's jealousy over Alice, perhaps due to Gertrude's frustration at Leo's dismissal of her work, in 1913, when the two were on either side of 40, they parted for good. Leo took Nina to live with him in Settignano, Italy, and Gertrude remained in Paris on the Rue de Fleurus with Alice. Leo wrote occasionally to Gertrude, usually to clarify matters of their estates, but the acrimonious rift would never be healed.
Leo spent several years in North America during World War I, separated from Nina. He continued to paint, and to write critically about art, but his principal interest in these later years was psychoanalysis. He would spend significant amounts of time, money, and energy during the subsequent decades undergoing intense Freudian therapy to undo the burdensome neuroses he described so often in letters to friends. He finally married Nina in 1921, and sold the bulk of his art collection to the American collector Albert Barnes in the 1920s. In 1927, he published a collection of his critical writings on art as The A-B-C of Aesthetics. He continued writing over the next two decades, proposing to collect more of his essays which brought together his ruminations on aesthetics, metaphysics, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. In 1947, he brought out this compilation as Appreciation: Painting, Poetry and Prose. He had just begun to receive laudatory critical reviews of the book when he was informed that his ongoing stomach problems were caused by cancer. He died on July 29, 1947, barely one year later than his sister Gertrude had died, and of the same ailment that had killed her. He was survived only by his wife Nina, who lived on in Settignano for two years until committing suicide in 1949.
Leo's cousin Fred Stein, along with several friends, gathered together a selection of Leo Stein's letters and writings as a tribute to him. They were published in 1950 as Journey Into the Self.
- Americans -- France -- History -- 20th Century
- Art, Modern -- 20th Century
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951
- Berenson, Bernard, 1865-1959
- Boas, George, 1891-1980
- Burrow, Trigant, 1875-1950
- Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952
- Haydn, Hiram Collins, 1907-1973
- Komroff, Manuel, 1890-1974
- Luhan, Mabel Dodge, 1879-1962
- Modernism (Art)
- Paris (France) -- Intellectual life
- Photographic prints
- Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946
- Stein, Leo, 1872-1947
- Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957
- Guide to the Leo Stein Collection
- by Timothy Young
- August 1996
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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