New York artist Florine Stettheimer was a painter, poet, and playwright; a designer of highly original furniture, picture frames, stage sets, and costumes; and a celebrated salon host. The parties she threw in her eccentrically decorated studio brought together luminaries from the worlds of art, dance, literature, music, and theater. Such figures, along with Stettheimer’s own immediate family, often appear in her elaborately detailed portraits, which blur distinctions between private life and public performance, domestic settings and theatrical stages.
One of Stettheimer’s closest friends from the mid-1910s to early 1920s was the artist Marcel Duchamp, represented in this gallery with Fresh Widow (1920), a work he attributed to his female alter ego, Rrose Sélavy. Works by other contemporaries, as well as like-minded artists working today, extend Stettheimer’s interests in accessorizing and ornamentation, design and decoration.