Met to modify Gertrude Stein exhibit to indicate Nazi ties

(JTA) — A new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit of Gertrude Stein’s art collection will be modified to indicate that Stein had connections to the Nazis.

A spokesman for the New York museum told Politiker that text will be added to the exhibit, but it is unclear exactly what it will say.

"We’re going to add something, and we’re writing it now, that makes it clear the collection survived through the Nazi occupation of Paris and nobody is actually certain how. And that’s the truth," Harold Holzer told Politiker.

Holzier said Stein "was known to have been a friend of one of the most notorious collaborators, and he almost certainly helped her.”

Titled "The Steins Collect,” the exhibit features the paintings of Matisse, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso and Renoir.

“Visitors have the right to know that this collection exists because Gertrude Stein sold her soul; that she lived in comfort, aiding the Nazi cause while her fellow Jews were being robbed, tortured and murdered," New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said in a statement. Hikind said he was grateful to the museum "for accepting the historical accountability of full disclosure."

Stein, who was Jewish, lived in Paris during World War II and collected the artwork in the exhibit. Her artwork was not looted by the Nazis, apparently since she enjoyed the protection of the Vichy regime. 

The Anti-Defamation League said it welcomed the Met’s decision on Stein.

“Her troubling ideology was inextricably linked to her art collection, and therefore it is appropriate to make reference to it,” said Ron Meier, the ADL’s New York Regional director. 

The exhibit will be on display at the Met through June 3.

 

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