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  • Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and their dog Basket, Paris, 1944.
  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Aix-les-Bains, France, ca. 1927
  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Piazza San Marco, Venice, ca. 1908
  • Alice B. Toklas, with her companion Gertrude Stein and their dog Basket II, near Belley, France, ca. 1941.

 

 

Even though it seems that it’s rare to find a long-term, committed relationship in the world of art, there are some examples that can prove everyone wrong. Such was the relationship of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, a couple which beat the odds, stereotypes and conventions. Toklas met Gertrude Stein in Paris on September 8th, 1907, on the very first day Alice arrived from San Francisco after the devastating earthquake that shook the city. Their families were good acquaintances and persuaded Alice to look for Gertrude which proved to be a finger of faith because the two women fell deeply in love and remained together for the next 39 years, until Stein’s death. The loving couple led an amazing life in the bohemian circles of artistic Paris, organizing weekly meetings in the legendary 27 Rue de Fleurs, frequently visited by artists, writers, musicians and cultural émigrés. Gertrude and Alice created an amazing art collection together that consisted of Picasso's masterpieces, as well as famous works of Matisse, Cezanne and other renowned artists.
Other than being surrounded by the biggest intellectual minds of their times, two ladies kept their romance fresh with little but sweet signs of affection – Gertrude often called Alice her „baby precious“ and would leave her love notes on the pillow in the morning signed as „Y.D.“ or „Your Darling“. Unfortunately, their happiness came to an end with Gertrude's death. After the death of her beloved Gertrude, Alice had a very difficult time because the Stein family cut her off, taking their art collection and leaving her to die in poverty at the age of 89. Alice was buried next to her Gertrude on the famous Parisian Père Lachaise Cemetery; her name is engraved on the back of Gertrude's headstone.