Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Literature > 207. Gertrude Stein

207.  Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).  Tender Buttons, Objects, Food, Rooms. New York: Claire Marie, 1914. Barnard College, Overbury Collection

Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein's fragmented rendering of familiar objects recreated in the cubist mode, was her first independently published work, following her self-published Three Lives (1909) and Portrait of Mabel Dodge at the Villa Curonia (1912). Carl Van Vechten, Stein's loyal supporter from the time of their first meeting in 1913 until his death in 1964, had recommended that she offer Tender Buttons to his friend Donald Evans. He had just started his own press, named for Claire-Marie Burke, and issued the following in an advertising brochure: "Claire Marie believes there are in America seven hundred civilized people. Claire Marie publishes books for civilized people only. Claire Marie's aim, it follows from the premises, is not even secondarily commercial."

Bequest of Bertha Van Riper Overbury, 1963

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