Illustrated Stein


Tender Buttons: Objects, By Gertrude Stein, Illustrations by Lisa Congdon, Published: March 2013, by Chronicle Books, Hardcover: 6 x 8 in, 64 pgs -full-color illustrations throughout.

First published in 1914, Gertrude Stein’s revolutionary poetic work Tender Buttons is a must-read for every serious lover of literature. Divided into three sections Objects, Food, and Rooms, Stein’s innovative prose runs whimsical linguistic circles around ordinary artifacts, writing that emphasizes the sounds and rhythms rather than the sense of words. By departing from conventional meaning, grammar and syntax, she attempted to capture “moments of consciousness,” independent of time and memory. Presented here in an exquisite small package, this new edition of ‘Objects’ pairs Stein’s avant-garde verse with colorful contemporary illustrations by indie artist Lisa Congdon, who illuminates and examines the classic Cubist text with visuals as capricious as Stein’s own prose. A charming marriage of image and text of independent thinking, old and new.


Gertrude Stein, American writer, poet, and art collector, was a defining figure of Modernism in Paris. Living as an expatriate in Paris for most of her life, famous for hosting evening salons that gathered together the great thinkers, painters, and writers into one room, and sparking (and recording) their exchange of ideas. Besides Tender Buttons, her major works in verse include Patriarchal Poetry and Stanzas in MeditationLisa Congdon is a mixed media artist and illustrator based in San Francisco.