This groundbreaking catalogue tells the story of the more than 40-year friendship and
collaboration between the artist Henri Matisse and his champion and patron Etta Cone,
which resulted in one of the greatest collections of Matisse’s art in the United States.
More than 160 gorgeously illustrated paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and illustrated
books by Matisse—all belonging to the permanent collection of The Baltimore Museum
of Art—are presented alongside new scholarship on these masterpieces drawn from close
examination of rare preparatory materials and supporting archival documents. In tandem
with a reevaluation of the artist’s work in relation to contemporary feminism and social
history, in-depth explorations of Etta Cone’s life and collecting practice demonstrate how
her bond with the artist provided her with a sense of identity, purpose, and freedom from
convention. Baltimore-born contemporary artist Theresa Chromati reflects on Matisse’s
relevance to artists working today from the perspective of an unapologetic colorist whose
paintings explore the diverse experiences of Black women. A Modern Infl uence: Henri
Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore bears witness to the Cone Collection’s importance to
Etta, Baltimore, and contemporary audiences everywhere.