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A YouTube video narrated by the Metropolitan Museum’s associate curator Rebecca Rabinow gives us a quick primer on the Steins, starring Gertrude and Leo. Rabinow tells us the takeaway on one of art history’s greatest collecting families.

“The Steins’ collection shows what a family with limited resources but a great eye can accomplish [their] enthusiasm shaped the development of Western art as we know it today,” Rabinow says. During the early 20th century and the heyday of Post-Impressionism and Cubism, the Steins were a driving influence, supporting artists like Picasso and Matisse with their purchases, as well as helping to turn Paris into a magnet of artistic culture. Rabinow co-curated the Met’s upcoming The Steins Collect, an exhibition that will gather together objects from the family’s historic art holdings.

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...