Georgia O’Keeffe often approached her subjects as if they were people, painting portraits of trees, flowers, and, in this case, fruit. Similar to Paul Cézanne’s still lifes, O’Keeffe’s apples often evoke psychological associations. For example, this painting shows the larger fruit arranged in impenetrable ranks and a smaller apple pushed to the left margin, possibly suggesting O’Keeffe’s own feelings as an outsider amongst her husband’s large family at their home in Lake George.
Georgia O’Keeffe (American 1887–1986). Apple Family 2, 1920. Oil on canvas. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of the Burnett Foundation and The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Malcolm Varon, 2001
Happy first birthday to The Bay Lights ! Celebrate the Bay Bridge past and present with a visit to The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress, now on view!
Peter Stackpole (American, 1913–1997). Gallows frames dot the catwalk as cable spinning begins between towers W2 and W3, ca. 1936. Gelatin silver print. Museum purchase, Pritzker Fund for Photography. 2013.14.8
On March 6, 1986 Georgia O’Keeffe died at the age of 99. An icon in the truest sense of the word, O’Keeffe’s art and life have achieved worldwide renown, and she remains one of the only American artists with a museum devoted to the preservation and promotion of her work. For a full chronology of this remarkable artist’s life, please visit our partners at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Celebrate the extraordinary life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe today with a visit to Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George!
Georgia O’Keeffe (American 1887–1986). The Chestnut Grey, 1924. Oil on canvas. Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis, Minnesota © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
For Georgia O’Keeffe, natural elements depicted in her paintings often carried deeper meaning, and in this case, leaves may be seen as surrogates for human beings. Brown and Tan Leaves, the center painting in this gallery, may symbolically address an affair that O’Keeffe’s husband, Alfred Stieglitz, had with Dorothy Norman. Norman was 18 years younger than O’Keeffe and 40 years younger than Stieglitz. This unhappy threesome may be reflected in the relationship between the large decaying leaf, the medium-sized leaf that stands by its side, and the smallest leaf, which turns toward the central leaf.
In two weeks, the museum will blossom into the floral art mashup that is Bouquets to Art. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Bouquets to Art has supported the acquisition of some of the Fine Arts Museums’ most iconic pieces, including Wayne Thiebaud’s Three Machines (now on view in Wilsey Court).
Over the next weeks, we’ll be highlighting works from our permanent collection whose presence in our galleries has been made possible by the Museum Society Auxiliary, the group that has tirelessly organized Bouquets to Art for the last three decades. To learn more and plan your visit to Bouquets to Art, please visit our website.
Wayne Thiebaud (American, b. 1920). Three Machines, 1963. Oil on canvas. Museum purchase, Walter H. and Phyllis J. Shorenstein Foundation Fund, the Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Income Fund, with additional funds from Claire E. Flagg, the Museum Society Auxiliary, Mr. and Mrs. George R. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. John N. Rosekrans, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bransten, Mr. and Mrs. Steven MacGregor Read, and Bobbie and Mike Wilsey, from the Morgan Flagg Collection. 1993.18
All your burning questions about Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George are answered in this Q&A with curator of American art Tim Burgard.