The Cone sisters grew up in a large family, children of a German immigrant who began life in America as a penniless itinerant. The Cone brothers eventually had enough money to support their unmarried sisters, who used their part of the family funds to acquire the most brazen examples of modern art. Claribel and Etta Cone were among the earliest to buy works by Picasso and Matisse – with whom they became close friends. And they were friends, too, of Gertrude Stein. This lecture is a personal account of those friendships, given by their great-great-niece, Nancy Ramage, an art historian who knew one of the sisters and who used their personal letters to fill out the picture in the book, The Cone Sisters of Baltimore: Collecting at Full Tilt.
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