Art: Tale of Two Sisters

In the buzzing excitement of Paris' Salon d'Automne, two proper Baltimore sisters looked about them aghast. "Surely," said the older, "we are not expected to take this art seriously!" Even the painters —Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck, Rouault—were unknowns. It was 1905, and for the two Cone sisters. Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta, it was the year of their baptism into a new world.

Warmed by the enthusiasm of three expatriate Baltimore friends—Gertrude Stein and her brothers Leo and Michael —the Cone sisters were soon heads over heels in modern art. At Gertrude Stein's urging, Miss Etta traveled to Picasso's grubby Montmartre...

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