Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas

Noted American writer, mentor and art collector Gertrude Stein had had a string of lesbian relationships before with Alice B. Toklas who was to become her partner for nearly four decades.

Gertrude Stein met Alice B. Toklas on September 8, 1907, Toklas’ first day in Paris, and the two swiftly became constant companions. Their salon attracted some of the greatest artists, writers and thinkers of Europe and America—Hemingway, Thornton Wilder, Picasso, Matisse, included.

Stein and Toklas became famous cultural figures with the 1933 publication of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas a somewhat fictional memoir.

They were a rare example of an out couple—as out as one could be in the 1920s and ’30s, anyway—and remained devoted to each other until Stein’s death in 1946.

The depth of their relationship was laid bare in the 1980s, when a previously locked cabinet at Yale University was opened: Inside was a trove of hundreds of love letters the two women had written each other.

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