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The Nomad Salon's Homage to the French Salon Legacy and its Iconic Hostess, Gertrude Stein

The inception of the Nomad Salon and its latest project, "Art Collector's Home," a series of home exhibitions, is rooted in the splendid history of the Paris Salon, arguably the most significant annual or biennial art event in the Western world whose original focus was to exhibit artwork by recent graduates of the École des Beaux-Arts centuries ago. This grand tradition, stretching between 1748 and 1890, left an indelible mark and was set to make or break careers.

In the early 20th century, Paris witnessed the emergence of numerous salons sprouting from the fertile grounds of the original Salon, such as the Salon du Champ de Mars, Salon des Refusés, Salon des Indépendants, and Salon d'Automne to name a few. There have been many salons since the original one. However, no salon hostess compares to the American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), who moved to Paris from Oakland, California, at the turn of the 20th century. Perhaps I'm biased, but I'm sure her being from my neck of the woods has nothing to do with it.

Stein was renowned for her artistic gatherings in her apartment, which cultivated a creative space for many artists and writers from 1903 to 1938. On Saturday evenings, her apartment, or shall I say, Salon, became the preferred place for Henri Matisse, Picasso, and May Ray, and soon enough magnetized all other creatives beyond visual artists, Ernest Hemingway is one example.

Once the epicenter of artistic exchange, these gatherings were replaced by the white-cube impersonal art galleries. The tradition of vibrant dialogues and genuine connections made within spaces that Stein and many other Salon hosts helped create soon vanished.

In the heart of Little Venice, London, The Nomad Salon aims to rekindle the spirit of those historical salons that ignited intellectual conversations and propelled artistic evolution. It's a deliberate step away from the detached and often cold ambiance of modern art spaces. Just as the Salons of the past were vibrant spaces of connection, the Nomad Salon endeavors to create an environment where artists, patrons, and enthusiasts can engage in meaningful conversations, where emerging artists are championed, and where art flourishes not just as a commodity but as a shared experience.


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