"Maurice Sterne... one of America's most important modern artists... the man who discovered Bali for the Western world..." Harry Salpeter, "Sterne, the Maestro in Art" Esquire Magazine, February 1941
Maurice Sterne was the first expatriate artist who lived in Bali after he won a National Acedemy traveling scholarship in 1904. Born in America, Sterne was inspired by the traveling journey he undertook until his death in 1957 through the work of artists such as Cezanne, Piero della Francesca and Whistler.
Among his greatest achievements, Sterne was the first living artists to be given a one man retrospective exhibition at the prestigious and world famous Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This was in 1933, and the exhibition received many rave viewers, including one by Lewis Mumford, who wrote the following in 1934:
"The vital part of that exhibition was the Bali paintings. The fact that these magnificent little paintings and drawings date from his great period of Bali, between 1911 and 1914 and they have, apparently, been stored in a trunk all these years. The artist has very modestly called these pictures Bali studies, but the fact is it is these studies that one must crown as the very height of Sterne's work".
Oddly enough, you will not find his works in any museum in Bali, nor is he even mentioned in most of the books on early Balinese art. His Balinese works are rare and precious few exist outside of major American and European museum collections. In his semi-autobiography, Shadow and Light, he writes that he destroyed most of his Balinese work before departing Bali in 1914.
Note: all pieces are guaranteed as original works by Parker Edwards Gallery.