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Gertrude Stein

George Platt Lynes, 15 Apr 1907 - 6 Dec 1955
Gertrude Stein, 3 Feb 1874 - 27 Jul 1946
Gelatin silver print
Image: 35.3 x 28.1cm (13 7/8 x 11 1/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Frame: 71.8 x 56.5 x 2.5cm (28 1/4 x 22 1/4 x 1")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Estate of George Platt Lynes
Object number
Exhibition Label
Gertrude Stein is more known for her novels and her exploration of the relationship between word and image than she is for her poetry, which she wrote only episodically and without sustained attention. Yet as with her other artistic explorations, her poetry focused on the modernist concern of the relation (or non-relation) of a word to the thing. As she put it in one of her famous aphorisms: “rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” Her poetry was also imbued with a pre-Joycean sense of stream of consciousness. The remarkable thing about Gertrude Stein is that she is one of the most influential literary modernists, and yet no one reads her anymore. Her writing—fiction and poetry—is unable to transcend her own fixation with the problem of the noun: her writing is a thing that needs verbs.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection