Gertrude Was Right: Look for a Window

Gertrude by Red Grooms, 1975

"I have always enjoyed going to museums," said Gertrude Stein, "because the view from museum windows is usually very pleasant.” At the time she was visiting the Phillips Collection here in Washington, D.C. Stein established one of the earliest salons for modern painting and sculpture at her Paris flat at 27 Rue de Fleurus. La Stein became a focal point of the twentieth century’s shifting ideas of the possibilities of art. She who famously said of her hometown of Oakland, California “there is no there there” made her own there through the worlds of art and literature. I like Stein’s idea of looking for a window in a museum of all places, where you’re supposed to turn your eye inward. Shouldn’t there be only one view in a museum? What’s out there that could possibly be better than what’s in here?