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Claribel Cone

Claribel Cone made contributions to two vastly different fields as a biologist and a patron of modern French art. Cone graduated the Women’s Medical College of Baltimore in 1890 and did postgraduate work at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania, intending to become a physician. She interned at the Philadelphia Blockley Hospital for the Insane, an experience that made her decide to focus on teaching and research, becoming a professor of pathology at the Women’s Medical College of Baltimore from 1885–1910, when the school closed. Cone travelled regularly to the Senckenberg Pathological Institute in Frankfurt, Germany from 1903–1913, studying tuberculosis and the behavior of fatty tissue under healthy and pathological conditions, and she continued her research in Munich from 1914–1921. Her career as a patron of the arts began in Paris in 1903, when she and her sister Etta visited Gertrude Stein—who later immortalized them in the essay “Two Women”—and Stein persuaded the sisters to support struggling French artists. Over time they bought over two hundred works by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Gaugin, and many others. The sisters willed their vast, shared collection to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Illustration of Claribel Cone, Gertrude Stein, Etta Cone in Italy, 1903
Full image

Claribel Cone, Gertrude Stein, Etta Cone in Italy, 1903.

Illustration by Susan Fillion.

Used by permission of David Godine, Publisher.

Date of Birth
November 14, 1864
Place of Birth
Richmond, Virginia
Date of Death
September 20, 1929

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Claribel Cone." (Viewed on January 16, 2018) <>.


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