New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG)
May 19 through October 28, 2018
Bronx, New York
“Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i” focuses on the iconic artist’s immersion in the Hawaiian Islands in 1939. Exhibition visitors will experience a lush flower show in the Botanical 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.
In 1939, at the age of 51, O’Keeffe accepted a commission from the Hawaiian Pineapple Company to produce two paintings for advertising campaigns. Her nine-week immersion in the Hawaiian landscape resulted in more than 20 paintings, including stunning views of the mountains and waterfalls, and her signature close-cropped views of flowers and plants she encountered during her time on the islands of Hawai’i, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. 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 encountered, and also reveal the complex history of the plants and the Islands that she was not familiar with at the time.
Curated by art historian Theresa Papanikolas, Ph.D., Deputy Director of Art and Programs 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. Visitors of all ages will learn about Hawai’i through complementary events, programs, and demonstrations, including a film series, symposium, lecture, and an interactive mobile guide.
An Interview with Curator Theresa Papanikolas
For more information: www.nybg.org