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"Letting people have your paintings is like letting them wear your clothes." So said Florine Stettheimer, who was intensely private about her art, displaying it mainly to a select group of artist and writer friends. Her typically quirky mix of fantasy and reality is present in Heat—a family portrait of her mother, herself (lower right), and her three sisters gathered to celebrate Mrs. Stettheimer's birthday. The painter Marsden Hartley wrote of her work: "It is as if these beings had come to bloom freely and clearly in spite of alien temperature and alien insistence, perhaps chiefly under glass if you will, subject to special heats, special rays of light, special vapors, but there they are replete in their own beauty, their own hypersensitized charm."

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