In conjunction with the exhibition The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, on view February 28 through June 3, 2012, curator Rebecca Rabinow discusses the villa that the Swiss architect Le Corbusier designed for Sarah and Michael Stein.
Rebecca Rabinow: Hi, I'm Rebecca Rabinow, a curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1925, Sarah and Michael Stein saw an exhibition of decorative arts in Paris that featured a modern villa by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. It was called the Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau. They were impressed, and met the architect and hired him to design a villa for them outside of Paris. It was constructed between 1926 and 1928.This video, taken by Sarah and Michael's young nephew, shows Sarah, Michael, and some friends in the garden of the villa. Michael, in particular, was extremely involved in the construction of the house. He said, "After having been in the vanguard of the modern movement in painting in the early years of the century, we are now doing the same for modern architecture." Sarah and Michael lived in the Corbusier house for about ten years before moving back to the United States.
Excerpts from Architecture d'aujourd'hui, 1930
Documentary directed by Pierre Chenal; script by Pierre Chenal and Le Corbusier
35mm transferred to DVD
Archives françaises du film - CNC Estate of Pierre Chenal
Restoration of this film was undertaken by the Archives françaises du film - CNC with material from the Cinémathèque française.
Home video by Julian Stein, Sr. (a nephew of Sarah and Michael), showing the family in the Garden of Les Terrasses, 1929.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library