Editor's note: The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum provided source material to Resource Library for the following article. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum directly through either this phone number or web address:


Georgia O'Keeffe: Color and Conservation

June 16 - September 10, 2006


The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico is hosting Georgia O'Keeffe: Color and Conservation through September 10, 2006.  In this revolutionary exhibition co-curators Sarah Whitaker Peters and René Paul Barilleaux explore the degree to which O'Keeffe was involved in the conservation of her art and the importance of O'Keeffe's personal relationship with distinguished conservator Caroline Keck.

Georgia O'Keeffe: Color and Conservation brings together 39 landscapes, flower paintings, still lifes and abstractions -- from all periods of the American master's celebrated career-allowing the viewer to see the subtle beauty and diversity of her painting methods.

Peters did her preliminary research for this exhibition at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, which houses the extensive collection of art materials that Georgia O'Keeffe owned at the time of her death in 1986: her easel, glass palette, oil paints, brushes, pencils, pens, charcoal sticks, conte crayons, pastels, and wooden tools, as well as many types of watercolor and drawing papers.  In addition, the collection includes hundreds of paint chips that O'Keeffe made beginning in the 1930s by applying a color to a small piece of canvas or canvas board, and identifying the components of the specific color on the back of the canvas or board. All of these materials are available to those carrying out research at the Research Center.

"O'Keeffe was keenly interested in how her works looked throughout her life -- that they continued to keep the original intentions of her craft," says Peters.  "She became actively engaged in attempting to preserve the original colors and pristine surface qualities of her paintings, working closely with Keck." 

"The conservation of paintings remains in a largely secretive realm, for the most part distant from the typical museum visitor and even further from the minds of most artists," adds Barilleaux. "Georgia O'Keeffe, unlike the majority of her artist-colleagues, understood very well how shoddy craftsmanship and improper care could impact the long-term physicality of her paintings and pastels."

"Color and Conservation is the first to focus on O'Keeffe's life-long commitment to the preservation of her work, her studio methods and her desire to keep her work looking as it had when she first completed it," says Barbara Buhler Lynes, Curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and The Emily Landau Director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center.  "It is also the first exhibition to explore O'Keeffe's personal friendship with Caroline Keck through a series of previously unknown letters the two exchanged, and how they worked together to achieve O'Keeffe's objectives. " 

In addition to paintings and pastels, photographs of the artist and displays of some of the extensive body of letters Keck and O'Keeffe wrote to one another will add distinctly human and personal elements to the exhibition.  Many of these letters are published for the first time in the exhibition catalogue, thus adding to the fact that Georgia O'Keeffe: Color and Conservation establishes an entirely new body of scholarship on O'Keeffe's professional career.

The exhibit will travel to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York after Santa Fe. A 167 page, full-color book by the same name accompanies the exhibition and is available in the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Shop.


Public Programs

A variety of educational, activities and special events for adults and youth are planned in conjunction with the exhibition.  The programs are designed to increase the audience's insight into O'Keeffe's art and life, and her unique relationship with Keck.


Editor's note: readers may also enjoy:

approximately 280 other Resource Library articles and essays citing Georgia O'Keeffe, including these selected texts:

online audio:

The National Gallery of Art offers on its web site O'Keeffe on Paper. Barbara Buhler Lynes, co-curator of the exhibition, author of Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné, curator of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, and Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center, discuss new insights on the stunning watercolors, charcoals, and pastels presented in the exhibition of O'Keeffe's most innovative works on paper. Aired May 6, 2000. (description courtesy NGA)

online video:

The WGBH/Boston Forum Network includes a number of videos on Art and Architecture. Partners include a number of Boston-area museums, colleges, universities and other cultural organizations. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston partnered with the Forum Network for Modern Art in America, (43 minutes) in which Heather Cotter, Museum of Fine Arts Gallery Lecturer, gives an overview of the roots of American modern art using examples from the Museum's collection. This talk in the galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts investigates the foundations of modern art in America, focusing on works by Georgia O'Keefe, Arthur Dove, Charles Sheeler, and Stuart Davis. [September 28, 2003]

VHS videos:

Georgia O'Keeffe was produced by Perry Miller Adato in 1977 by WNET for The Originals: Women in Art series and distributed by the Educational Broadcasting Corporation. The video is 59 minutes long and is self-narrated by O'Keeffe. The artist talks candidly about her work and life, showing how nature and the mountains and desert of New Mexico figure prominently in her work. The video includes comments by sculptor Juan Hamilton, who was her assistant, and critics Barbara Rose and Daniel Catton Rich.


Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life in Art Adato, Perry Miller, producer and director. A 2002 video from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe. The Museum's orientation film created by the acclaimed, award-winning filmaker Perry Miller Adato. The film presents O'Keeffe's life and the origins and development of her art. VHS and DVD.





Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz 60 minute / 1998 / CTC - "Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, companions in life and art in spite of a 23-year age difference, symbolize the juxtapositions characteristics of the American modernist period. In this program, Professor Wanda Corn from Stanford University uses O'Keeffe's paintings and Stieglitz's photographs to show the impact each had on the other's work and on the evolution of American art. Corn emphasizes the artistic collaboration between the couple and points out O'Keeffe's modernist style of abstraction in her use of strong form and color and unusual vantage point on a traditional subject. As O'Keeffe is influenced by her sojourns to New Mexico, so does her art consciously change in subject matter as a reflection of her strong artistic spirit and determination to reconnect with traditional America." Quotes are from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye is a 90 minute 2000 American Masters series WNET video directed by Perry Miller Adato. From the Back Cover: "Stieglitz, who is revered as one of the most innovative photographers of the 20th century, played a primary role in fostering new talent. Through his three galleries in New York City, he mentored emerging artists such as Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter and Georgia O'Keeffe; and introduced avant-garde Europeans such as Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Auguste Rodin and Pablo Picasso.... This revealing look at "The Father of Modern Photography" features a rare interview with Georgia O'Keeffe, Stieglitz's wife and muse, as well as archival footage of other artistic giants he inspired, including Edward Steichen and John Marin. Additionally, the film presents countless images from the Stieglitz archives, ranging from early European peasant life to later views of New York's urban landscape." VHS/DVD




Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History. Individual pages in this catalogue will be amended as TFAO adds content, corrects errors and reorganizes sections for improved readability.

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

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2010 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.