One of the freebies we got from our travel agency was tickets to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum here in Santa Fe (1). As many of the shops and galleries are closed on Sunday, we planned to hit the museum today. A very nice museum.
And a very impressive woman. In an era when women were not expected to have independent careers, she became a commercially successful fine artist. By age 40, the Brooklyn Museum held a retrospective of her work. She profited from the support of her husband, the art dealer and photographer Alfred Stieglitz, but clearly was her own woman, living apart from him for much of each year and creating an abstract style all her own.
Her most famous work was based on objects and landscapes she found in and around Santa Fe, although she also worked in New York City and Lake George, NY and painted what she saw there. Yet while her work was based strongly on reality – her bones, flowers, mountains, skyscrapers all had origins in what she saw – she said that the first time she saw the actual images she painted was after she finished painting them.
By way of making the point, the image above shows the ink sketch she made of a landscape in the lower right corner, and the finished work. Those studying her work have found sketches and preliminary works under the paint on many of her works.
Her florals were, and continue to be controversial. Many believed that her pictures had sexual overtones, which she strenuously denied throughout her life. Sometimes, a flower is just a flower.
After the museum, we went and finalized the purchase of the table we looked at yesterday. This will replace one on our patio which I broke 20 years ago, but didn’t fall apart until recently.
After spending some time looking at jewelry and a late lunch, we wandered around a car show right outside the jewelry store and restaurant. More than 50 cars of varying eras and in varying condition were on display around the Plaza, Santa Fe’s central square while 60s music played on the PA.
Tonight we’re going to stay in. I don’t usually watch TV on vacation, or much when home, but it’s the Game of Thrones final tonight. Can’t miss that.
And it’s also the American Idol finale, which Sally will watch. So we picked up a nice bottle of wine and we’ll share that and eat in the room.
(1) $13 each, but I’m not one to sneeze at $26.
(2) Copyright is claimed for my photographs of O’Keefe’s images, not for her paintings.