The current show at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum - O'Keeffiana: Art & Art Materials, runs through May 8, 2011 and offers a rare glimpse into the underpinnings of O'Keeffe's artistic practice. Nine galleries are filled with a rich selection of artworks,  photographs of O'keeffe at work and in the landscapes that she loved, as well as a collection of pastels, watercolors, oil paints and brushes that she used in her studio.

But, what made this  exhibit come alive was that I got to walk through the galleries with Carolyn Kastner, curator of the exhibition and associate curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. She told "stories" about O'Keeffe and her work that made the paintings and the show more dynamic. Like when she pointed out a  simple drawing with a sweeping stroke of graphite.

Untitled (Black Place), c. 1944/1945
Georgia O’Keeffe -Graphite on paper  - 7 5/8 x 11 3/8 (19.36 x 28.89)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Gift of The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (2006.05.187)
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

And then  pointed to a lush, sensual  painting that  she said began with this simple motif.  "That primary stroke was the underlying armature of the painting," notes  Kastner, "and you can see that O'Keeffe starts with an idea and changes very little. It demonstrates her power."

Black Place III, 1944  -  Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe - Oil on canvas   -  36 x 40 (60.6 x 76.2)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Gift of The Burnett Foundation (2007.01.026)
© 1987, Private Collection

And, then there are the bones, the beautiful picked-clean sculls that O'Keeffe painted again and again, singularly and then in landscapes as if she were putting them back where she had found them.

Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory, 1938
Georgia O’Keeffe  -  Oil on canvas  -  20 x 30 (50.8 x 76.2)
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
Gift of The Burnett Foundation (2007.01.024)
© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

A wonderful exhibit. Beautifully conceived and artfully hung.
 Thank you Carolyn!

127 Johnson Street 
Santa Fe, NM


  1. Hi Cynthia, Thank you for your kind words, I also love your blog and have started following you. have a wonderful Sunday!

  2. great blog and beautiful pictures!!!!!

  3. Black Zebra and Cez -

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments. High Praise...c