Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Santa Fe, NM



Views of the City: 1910 - 1949


"Views of the City: 1910 - 1949" brings together a selection of Georgia O'Keeffe's important New York City pictures with approximately 55 photographs, works on paper and paintings of the city by 28 of her contemporaries from more than 35 major private and public collections. The exhibition demonstrates the ways in which O'Keeffe and a number of other artists working in New York responded to and interpreted the transformation of the environment into a modern city of skyscrapers. It is on view at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 14, 2000 through March 14, 2001.

Museum director George G. King said, "This exhibition provides the viewer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Georgia O'Keeffe, her colleagues, and their varied interpretations of this country's most modern of cities."

By 1910, New York City had become a beacon for artists from all over America and the world who were drawn to its vitality and the power of its modern vision. The rapidly evolving city became the subject matter for the artists living and working there. Artists who wanted to connect with the modernity of a new era interpreted in both representational and abstract ways the dramatic views of New York City, including the soaring skyscrapers, expansive bridges, industrial riverscapes, and emerging skyline. These interpretations could be both heroic and celebratory, as seen in O'Keeffe's paintings of skyscrapers and Joseph Stella's paintings of the Brooklyn Bridge, or they could be formal and matter-of-fact, as seen in the flat, sharply defined, precisionist paintings of city architecture by Charles Sheeler and Niles Spencer.

Of the exhibit, curator Barbara Buhler Lynes said, "This is a very exciting exhibition in that it brings together so many first-rate pictures of the city by O'Keeffe and her contemporaries."

Views of the City focuses on O'Keeffe's unique interpretation of the buildings, bridges, and river views of New York and on those of other important artists working in the city during this period. O'Keeffe's paintings of skyscrapers-including A Street (1926), The Shelton with Sunspots (1926), and New York Street with Moon (1928)-are seen along with paintings on the same subject by others, including Samuel Halpert's The Flatiron Building (1919) and Charles Sheeler's Skyscrapers (1922), as well as photographs by Berenice Abbott Murray Hill Hotel, Park Avenue at 41st Street, (1935) and Margaret Bourke-White, Chrysler Building, (c. 1930).

O'Keeffe's Brooklyn Bridge (1949) is complemented by the bridge interpretations of painters Elsie Driggs, (Queensborough Bridge, 1927), and Joseph Stella, (American Landscape, 1929), and photographers Paul Grotz, Untitled [Brooklyn Bridge] (1929), and Walker Evans, (Brooklyn Bridge, 1929).

O'Keeffe's East River from the 30th Story of the Shelton Hotel (1928) is exhibited with river views by painter Stuart Davis (A River View, 1913), and photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn (Brooklyn Bridge, New York , a. 1912), among others.

Not all the works in this exhibition are visual interpretations. Some are evocations of the city's kinetic energy, rhythms, and power. This is particularly true of O'Keeffe's New York-Night (1926), Max Weber's New York Department Store (1915), John Marins Lower Manhattan (1920), and Charles Demuth's Incense of a New Church (1921).

Organized by Museum Curator and noted O'Keeffe scholar Barbara Buhler Lynes, this is the third in a series of exhibitions at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum whose purpose is to heighten viewer awareness of the nature of the modernist movement in America and O'Keeffe's place in it.

Views of the City will be housed in several galleries of the Museum. Paintings from the permanent collection will be on view in the rest of the Museum.


George G. King, Director, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

George G. King joined the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum as director in April 1998. He came to that position from the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York, where he was executive director for ten years. During this period he oversaw the capital campaign and construction of a new museum facility and organized more than 60 exhibitions, several of which he served as curator. Before his appointment to Katonah, King held several positions at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City over a six-year period, including Program Director. He attended Bennington College in Vermont and the Maryland Institute College of Art, earning his BFA there in art history and painting. King's own special interests are in 20th century art and photography.

King has served as panelist on a number of arts councils, including Santa Fe Arts Commission, New York State Council on the Arts, Westchester Arts Council and New York State Council for the Humanities. He is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and a member of the board of directors of both the New Mexico Association of Museums and the Mountain-Plains Museum Association.


Barbara Buhler Lynes, Curator, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Barbara Buhler Lynes is curator of the collection at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Emily Fisher Landau director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, and author of Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné.

Lynes, who comes to Santa Fe from Maryland, has been integrally involved with the Museum since before its inception and was named curator of the collection in its early stages. With doctoral degrees in French literature and in art history, Lynes has lectured widely and has written extensively about the artist and her work. Lynes' publications include, among others, O'Keeffe, Stieglitz and the Critics, 1916-1929, University of Chicago Press, 1991 and Georgia O'Keeffe, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1993. She is a member of the Association for Historians of American Art, the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association, and the College Art Association.


Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Resource Library.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 9/10/10, 12/10/10

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