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Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i at New York Botanical Garden, May 19 – October 28, 2018

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“The New York Botanical Garden’s landmark 2018 exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, will focus on the iconic artist’s immersion in the Hawaiian Islands in 1939. Visitors will experience a lush flower show in the Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory evoking the gardens and landscapes that inspired O’Keeffe as well as the complex story of the flora and unique ecology of Hawai‘i. Curated by art historian Theresa Papanikolas, Ph.D., Deputy Director of Art and Programs and Curator of European and American Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art, the exhibition will feature 20 of O’Keeffe’s depictions of Hawai‘i—including paintings not seen together in New York since their 1940 debut.

In 1939, at the age of 51, O’Keeffe traveled on commission to Hawai‘i to produce images for a Hawaiian Pineapple Company promotional campaign. Her nine weeks on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i, and the Big Island of Hawai‘i resulted in stunning depictions of mountains and waterfalls as well as her signature close-cropped views of flowers and plants she observed. At the time of her trip, O’Keeffe was among the most famous artists in the United States, best known for her depictions of the stark landscape and desert flora of her beloved New Mexico. Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, will explore this lesser-known chapter in her career, the enduring cultural impact of mid-century perceptions of Hawai‘i, and the ecological complexity of the Hawaiian Islands—one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth—hidden behind O’Keeffe’s depictions. Integrating art, horticulture, and historical interpretation, the exhibition will explore the Hawai‘i that O’Keeffe experienced and also reveal the complex history of the Hawaiian Islands that she was not familiar with at the time.” — NYBG

Harold Stein. Georgia O’Keeffe on Leho‘ula Beach, near ‘Aleamai, Hāna, Maui, 1939

White Lotus, 1939,  Muscartine Art Center, Iowa

Installation view

Hibiscus with Plumeria, 1939, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Left: Untitled (Hibiscus), 1939. Right: Untitled (Yellow Flower), 1939. Both: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe.

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view of “Montain Views”

Left: Cup of Silver Ginger, 1939, Baltimore Museum of Art. Right: Bella Donna with Pink Torch Ginger Bud, 1939, Private Collection

Installation view of “Tropical Wonders”

Left: Fishhook from Hawai’i, N.1, 1939, Brooklyn Museum. Right: Papaya Tree, Iao Valley, Maui, 1939, Honolulu Museum of Art

Left: Heliconia, Crab’s Claw Ginger, 1939, Collection of Sharon Twigg-Smith. Right: Pineapple Bud, 1939, Private Collection

Installation view of “Ocean Views”

Please note:  Most Paintings © 2018 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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