Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Cathedrals of Art

Artist:
Florine Stettheimer (American, Rochester, New York 1871–1944 New York, New York)
Date:
1942
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
60 1/4 x 50 1/4 in. (153 x 127.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Ettie Stettheimer, 1953
Accession Number:
53.24.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 902
In this series of four monumental paintings executed between 1929 and 1942, Stettheimer created extraordinary composite visions of New York’s economic, social, and cultural institutions. The Cathedrals of Art is a fantastical portrait of the New York art world. Microcosms of three of the city’s major museums and their collections are watched over by their directors: the Museum of Modern Art (upper left), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (center), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (upper right). A gathering of art critics, dealers, and photographers of the day, including Stettheimer herself (lower right), appears around the Metropolitan’s grand staircase.
Inscription: Signed and dated (upper left): FLORINE/S (center): 19 Museum 42
the artist, New York (1942–d. 1944); her sister, Ettie Stettheimer, New York (1944–53; her gift to MMA)

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Florine Stettheimer," October 1–November 17, 1946, unnumbered cat. (p. 52; as "Cathedrals of Art [unfinished]," lent by Miss Ettie Stettheimer, New York).

Hartford, Conn. Wadsworth Atheneum. "Florine Stettheimer," January 9–February 1, 1948, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The 10s, the 20s, the 30s: Inventive Clothes, 1909–1939," December 13, 1973–September 3, 1974, not in catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Curator: Robert Beverly Hale," November 16, 1978–March 4, 1979, unnum. checklist.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "14 Americans," July 16, 1990–January 2, 1991, unnum. checklist.

Turin. Galleria Lingotto. "Arte Americana, 1930–1970," January 11–March 31, 1992, unnumbered cat. (p. 147, as "Cathedral of Art").

Katonah, N. Y. Katonah Museum of Art. "Friends and Family: Portraiture in the World of Florine Stettheimer," September 19–November 28, 1993, unnumbered cat. (fig. 9).

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica," July 13–November 5, 1995, unnumbered cat. (p. 31; as "Cathedrals of Art").

Jewish Museum, New York. "Jewish Women and Their Salons: The Power of Conversation," March 4–July 10, 2005, unnumbered cat. (fig. 140).

Henry McBride. Florine Stettheimer. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1946, pp. 52–53, 55, ill.

Esther I. Seaver. "Florine Stettheimer and the Gay Twenties." Wadsworth Atheneum Bulletin (January 1948), p. 1.

Parker Tyler. Florine Stettheimer: A Life in Art. New York, 1963, pp. 31, 45–46, 52, 59–60, 63–64, 66, 68, 72–78, 106, 109, 114, 149, 152–54, 181, 184, 186, ill. opp. pp. 114 (detail) and 163.

Avis Berman. Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1990, pp. 461–63, ill.

Eleanor Heartney. "Florine Stettheimer: Saints, Esthetes, and Hustlers." Art News 90 (May 1991), pp. 95–96, ill. (color, overall and detail).

Jerry Saltz. "Notes on a Painting. Twilight of the Gods: Florine Stettheimer's 'Cathedrals of Art,' 1942." Arts Magazine 66 (March 1992), pp. 21–22, ill. (color).

Barbara Bloemink. Friends and Family: Portraiture in the World of Florine Stettheimer. Exh. cat., Katonah Museum of Art. Katonah, N. Y., 1993, pp. 16–19, 21 n. 41, 23, fig. 9.

Elisabeth Sussman in Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1995, pp. 50, 52, 62, 128, 141, ill. p. 31 (color).

Barbara Bloemink in Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1995, pp. 90–93.

Linda Nochlin in Florine Stettheimer: Manhattan Fantastica. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1995, pp. 107–8, 112–14, 116 n. 38.

Emily D. Bilski and Emily Braun. Jewish Women and Their Salons: The Power of Conversation. Exh. cat., Jewish Museum, New York. New Haven, 2005, pp. 126–36, fig. 140.

Richard Meyer. "Changing Partners: Richard Meyer on 'Reimagining Modernism' at the Met." Artforum (November 2015), p. 146, ill. (color).



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