KEY EVENTS IN THE LIVES OF GERTRUDE & ALICE
•1874 Gertrude Stein born February 4th in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA.
•1880 After several years in Europe, Stein family moves to Oakland, California, USA.
•1877 Alice Babette Toklas born April 30th in San Francisco.
•1891 Gertrude moves from Oakland to San Francisco.
•1893-97 Gertrude attends Harvard University to study
medicine and psychology. Enters medical school but leaves before receiving a degree.
•1893 Alice studies music at the University of Washington.
•1901-04 Gertrude lives in London, Florence, finally moving to Paris with her brother Leo.
•1903 Gertrude and her brothers begin to buy the works of Picasso, Matisse, Gris and other artists establishing one of the first major modern art collections.
•1905 Gertrude begins writing her first book, Three Lives, which is published in 1909.
•1906 •Alice experiences the San Francisco earthquake.
• Alice meets Michael Stein, Gertrude’s older brother,
and sees his Matisse paintings brought from Paris.
• Picasso paints his portrait of Gertrude.
• Gertrude resumes work on her 1000 page book, The
Making of Americans.
•1907 Alice goes to Paris and meets Gertrude on the day she arrives.
•1908 Alice learns to type and begins typing Gertrude’s manuscripts.
•1910 Alice moves to 27, rue de Fleurus to live with Gertrude.
•1910-16 Alice serves as hostess for the evening salons at rue de Fleurus, travels extensively with Gertrude to Italy, Spain and England, and works with her to try to secure publishers with limited success.
•1914 Gertrude’s 2nd book, Tender Buttons, published.
•1917 WWI –Gertrude and Alice deliver medical supplies to wounded French and American soldiers. They are awarded the Médaille de la Reconnaissance by the French government for their efforts “without respite.”
•1919-26 a new generation of young writers visits rue de Fleurus – Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.
•1926 Alice cuts Gertrude’s hair in what would become her signature, Caesar-look cut.
•1929 they find their country house in Bilignin and acquire pets: Basket, their poodle, later followed by Byron and Pépé, two chihuahuas, and Basket II upon the death of Basket I.
•1931 due to the difficulty of finding publishers, they establish Plain Edition at rue de Fleurus to publish five of Gertrude’s works. A Picasso painting is sold to finance the first book.
•1933 The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas published. Is a best seller.
•1934–1935 they return to the U.S. for the first and only time and travel around the country. Gertrude lectures at various universities and community groups.
•1937-38 lease at 27, rue de Fleurus ends. They move to 5, rue Christine.
•1939 Alice urged by friend Carl Van Vechten to make typewritten copies of all Stein manuscripts because of impending war. Original handwritten manuscripts sent to Yale University.
•1939-44 they spend WWII in the French countryside under constant threat by occupying German and Italian forces.
•1944-45 after liberation by American troops, they return to their Paris apartment and find their art collection intact. They again receive visiting Americans including GIs. They also tour war-torn Germany at the request of the U.S. government.
•1946 July 27th, Gertrude dies of cancer.
•1950 Alice begins to write magazine articles about food and fashion.
•1951-58 Alice oversees the publication of Gertrude’s unpublished works by Yale University Press.
•1954 The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book is published. It becomes famous because of the hashish fudge recipe given to her by a friend. The cookbook has never been out-of-print.
•1957 Alice converts to Catholicism.
•1958 Alice’s 2nd cookbook,Aromas and Flavors of Past and Present, is published.
•1960 records an LP, reading from her cookbook and The
Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
•1961 Stein heirs remove paintings from the apartment while Alice is in Rome. They claim works are under-insured and also fear Alice is selling too many of the works.
•1963 Alice’s memoir, What Is Remembered, is published.
•1967 March 7th, Alice dies of complications relating to old age, about two months before her 90th birthday. Alice is buried at Péré-Lachaise cemetery in Paris next to Gertrude.
•1998 small street in San Francisco near her birthplace is re-named “Alice B. Toklas Place.”
compiled by Hans Gallas
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