Henri Matisse: Prints and Bronzes from the Permanent Collection

  • Oct 1, 2006 – Jan 14, 2007
Henri Matisse, "Madeleine I", 1901, bronze, 23 3/8 x 8 3/8 x 7 in. Gift
of Etta and Claribel Cone, 1950.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to the famous Cone Collection of modern art. There is, of course, a second Cone collection, one less well known internationally but certainly treasured here in North Carolina: the Etta and Claribel Cone Collection at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. How did this collection come here, to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro?

The Cone family was successful in the textile business, and many of their mills were located in the South. Moses Cone, brother of Claribel and Etta, built a home in Greensboro as well as a vacation home in the mountains at Blowing Rock. Etta was a frequent visitor to Blowing Rock, as were other members of the Cone family. One such member was Etta's sister-in-law, Laura Weill (Mrs. Julius) Cone. Laura Cone was a loyal alumna of UNCG. She knew that the Weatherspoon Art Gallery had been established on campus in 1941, and knew, too, that the young organization was struggling to get established. Laura asked her sister-in-law if she would consider making a donation of art to the Weatherspoon. In her will dated May 18, 1949, Etta left to Woman's College (as it was known then) an astonishing collection of sixty-seven Matisse prints and six Matisse bronzes. It is this group of artworks that is best known as the Cone Collection at the Weatherspoon. The current exhibition features prints and bronzes of portraits and various head studies by Matisse.

We have six galleries located on the first and second levels of the museum, view our gallery map.