DMA Insight

Don't Miss the O'Keeffe Show!

Almost 24,000 people attended Georgia O'Keeffe 1887-1986_ during its first week at the Dallas Museum of Art. After ten days, the number climbed to 35,000. By the end of the exhibition, 205,904 had seen the show. Covering sixty years of O'Keeffe's distinguished career, the show was planned before the artist's death in Santa Fe in March 1986. The exhibition was the first survey of her work since the Whitney Museum's 1970 retrospective and presented nearly one hundred twenty paintings, drawings, and watercolors at four prestigious venues: the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (November 1, 1987-February 21, 1988), the Art Institute of Chicago (March 5-June 19, 1988), the Dallas Museum of Art (July 31-October 16, 1988), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (November 19, 1988-February 5, 1989). The show broke attendance records at all four venues, and for the Dallas Museum of Art it was a stellar moment. The exhibition not only sparked the public's imagination but also galvanized the institution's attention to O'Keeffe. The 1953 acquisition of Bare Tree Trunks with Snow was happily joined by the major abstraction _Grey, Blue, and Black Pink Circle, a gift of the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation in 1994.

The exhibition, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of O'Keeffe's birth, included many works from the artist's estate that had rarely, if ever, been seen by the public. In 1999 the Museum worked with The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., to organize Georgia O'Keeffe:__ The Poetry of Things, an important examination of the artist's creative process and sources. Having taught art in Amarillo and at West Texas State Normal College in Canyon between 1912 and 1918, Georgia O'Keeffe was truly an artist of this region, but moreover she was a true American icon and a sure favorite with the public.

Excerpt from

Lora Sariaslan, "Don't Miss the O'Keeffe Show!" in Dallas Museum of Art, 100 Years , ed. Dorothy M. Kosinski (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 2003), Pamphlet number 65.