Modern and Contemporary Art
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Artist: Marthe Donas, Belgian, 1885–1967

Still Life with Coffee Pot

ca. 1917–18

Oil on composition board

51.6 × 38.1 cm (20 5/16 × 15 in.)
Gift of Collection Société Anonyme
In the catalogue of the Société Anonyme Collection, the society’s cofounder Katherine S. Dreier called Marthe Donas “the first woman abstract painter.” Although Dreier was not technically correct in her assessment, she clearly had been impressed by Donas’s own brand of Cubism, one that bore the stamp of Amédée Ozenfant’s and Le Corbusier’s Purism, a style in which familiar still-life objects such as vases or oranges are abstracted with architectural objectivity, rendering the everyday statuesque. Donas’s paintings are also remarkable for the artist’s luminous palette, which bears similarities to those of other Cubist painters in her Paris circle, such as Sonia Delaunay.
Not on view
20th century

Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 198, no. 199, ill.

Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1950), 18.

Joanna Fiduccia, “Marthe Donas’s Tactility,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2020–2021): 56–65, fig. 4.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.