Landscape Queen

An exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum offers a personal look at painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s life.

Enigmatic 20th-century artist Georgia O’Keeffe, dubbed the “Mother of American Modernism,” is best known for her paintings. There are the oversized close-ups of flowers, of course, as well as New York skyscrapers, New Mexico landscapes, and haunting animal skulls. In 1927, the first-ever museum exhibition of her career unfolded at the Brooklyn Museum. Now, ninety years later, this same cultural institution re-visits her work with Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern. An exhibition that focuses less on the pieces in her vast oeuvre—although some of those are on display, too—and more on how she presented herself publicly through the decades, it illuminates the clothing that defined O’Keeffe as a feminist style icon. Organized by eras, there are first her early years to consider, which were dominated by outfits with ornamentation. After moving to New York in the 1920s and ‘30s, her style metamorphosed, and she embraced a fitting palette of black and white. Once she settled in New Mexico, her wardrobe favored the colors of the surrounding stark landscape and adobe architecture. A final section of the exhibition reveals the powerful impact of photography on O’Keeffe’s important post-New York years of reinvention in the Southwest, where she would live until her passing. Photographs by heavyweights such as Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, and her husband Alfred Stieglitz also offer peeks into O’Keeffe’s home life. Through July 23. While there, don’t forget to pay Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, an installation paying tribute to female achievements, a visit.

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887?1986). Black Pansy & Forget-Me-Nots (Pansy), 1926. Oil on canvas, 27? x 12¼ in. (68.9 x 31.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Mrs. Alfred S. Rossin, 28.521. © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. (Photo: Christine Gant, Brooklyn Museum) The image may only be reproduced with the strict understanding that it will not be cropped or altered in any way, bled to the edges, guttered, wrapped around the outside cover, nor superimposed with any printing. The image must have a white border of appropriate size. Full credit must be given for the image.

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946). Georgia O’Keeffe, Prospect Mountain, Lake George, 1927. Gelatin silver print, 4? x 3? in. (11.8 x 9.3 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1980.70.223. © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington RESTRICTIONS: There may be no cropping, bleeding or guttering of the image. The reproductions may not be any larger than the size of the original (4 5/8 x 3 5/8 in). The reproductions must be surrounded by a white border. No type may be imposed over the reproductions. Reproduction on the cover of a publication is also subject to the above restrictions. The credit line, "National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection" must appear below the images

Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum 

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