Pierre Matisse was born in Bohain-en-Vermandois on June 13, 1900. He exhibited an early interest in the art market, and took a job at the prestigious Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert in Paris. In 1924, Pierre came to New York, where he began a distinguished career of 65 years as an art dealer.
In 1931, Matisse opened his own gallery in the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street in New York City. The Pierre Matisse Gallery, which existed until his death in 1989, became an influential part of the Modern Art movement in America. Matisse represented and exhibited many European artists and a few Americans and Canadians in New York, often for the first time. Matisse exhibited Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, André Derain, Yves Tanguy, Le Corbusier, Paul Delvaux, Wifredo Lam, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Balthus, Leonora Carrington, Zao Wou Ki, Sam Francis, sculptors Theodore Roszak, Raymond Mason and Reg Butler, and several other important artists, including Henri Matisse.
Matisse was married three times. His first marriage, to Alexina "Teeny" Sattler (later Alexina Duchamp), produced three children: Paul Matisse, a painter/inventor; Jacqueline, and Peter. In 1949 they separated and Matisse married Patricia Kane Matta, the former wife of surrealist painter Roberto Matta. They were married until her death in 1972. In 1974, Matisse married Countess Maria-Gaetana "Tana" Matisse, the daughter of German diplomat Count Karl von Spreti. They remained married until his death on August 10, 1989, in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France.