Gertrude Stein (3 February 1874–27 July 1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright and art collector. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she moved to Paris in 1903, hosting a Paris salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus, where the leading figures in art and literature of the day, including Picasso, Matisse and Henri Rousseau, would meet.
In 1933, Stein published a quasi-memoir of her Paris years, The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, written in the voice of Alice B Toklas, her life partner. It became a literary bestseller and catapulted Stein from the relative obscurity of the cult-literature scene into the limelight of the mainstream.
From 1903 to 1914 Gertrude and her brother, Leo, lived near the Luxembourg Gardens where they accumulated the works of art that formed a collection renowned for historical importance. Their collection started with Gaugin’s Sunflowers and Three Tahitians, Cézanne’s The Bathers, and two Renoirs. After Stein’s and Leo’s households separated in 1914, she continued to collect examples of Picasso’s art.