The Phillips Collection Welcomes Two Georgia O’Keeffe Masterworks on Loan From The National Gallery of Art
The Phillips will host the artworks while the Gallery’s East Building is closed for renovations
Washington, DC—The Phillips Collection announced today that it will display two Georgia O’Keeffe masterworks on loan from the National Gallery of Art. The paintings, both from O’Keeffe’s landmark Jack-in-the-Pulpit series, come to the Phillips while the East Building galleries are closed for renovation. The works will be on view at the Phillips fromSeptember 11, 2014, through May 31, 2015. The Gallery’s East Building Atrium, with a special installation of modern sculpture, is open during renovation.
The Jack-in-the-Pulpit series, created by pioneering modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887–1986), was inspired by the artist’s close observations of the wildflower in the woods surrounding Alfred Stieglitz’s family home in Lake George, New York. Each of the series’ six canvases offers an increasingly abstract and distilled depiction of the striped and hooded jack-in-the-pulpit, culminating in a dramatic close-up of the stark pistil hovering in a field of purple, black, and gray. The works on loan from the National Gallery, Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV and Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. VI, provide a glimpse into O’Keeffe’s creative process and her underlying method of abstraction. As the artist said, “It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”
“It is thrilling to feature the exquisite Jack-in-the-Pulpit IV and VI from the National Gallery alongside The Phillips Collection’s important holdings of the Stieglitz circle,” says Phillips Curator Elsa Smithgall. “To peer into O’Keeffe’sJack-in-the-Pulpit works and consider her unique approach to abstraction alongside that of her fellow American modernists is an extraordinary opportunity that is sure to provoke fascinating conversations.”
The Phillips plans to exhibit the loaned paintings with masterworks from the permanent collection, including O’Keeffe’s Large Dark Red Leaves on White (1925) and From the White Place (1940), as well as works by Arthur Dove, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Alvin Langdon Coburn.
O’KEEFFE AND THE STIEGLITZ CIRCLE AT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION
From 1926 to 1946 the Stieglitz circle claimed the principal share of Duncan Phillips’s commitments to living American artists. During his initial visit to Stieglitz’s gallery 291 in 1926, Phillips left with his first acquisitions by O’Keeffe and Dove; he went on to acquire key works by O’Keeffe and the world’s largest and most representative group of works by Arthur Dove. He also acquired significant paintings by Marsden Hartley, photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, and representative examples of every aspect of John Marin’s oeuvre. Phillips also enhanced the reputations of these artists by offering them a number of museum firsts: the Phillips Memorial Art Gallery was the first museum to purchase work by O’Keeffe, present a solo museum exhibition of Marin, and mount retrospectives of Dove and Hartley.
The Phillips Collection is a leader in the study and presentation of O’Keeffe’s work, having organized the exhibitions Two Lives, Georgia O’Keeffe & Alfred Stieglitz: A Conversation in Paintings and Photographs (1992), O’Keeffe: The Poetry of Things (1999) and Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction (2009).
ABOUT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION
The Phillips Collection is one of the world’s most distinguished collections of Impressionist and Modern American and European art. Stressing the continuity between art of the past and present, it offers a strikingly original and experimental approach to Modern art by combining works of different nationalities and periods in displays that change frequently. The setting is similarly unconventional, featuring small rooms, a domestic scale, and a personal atmosphere. Artists represented in the collection include Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Claude Monet, Honoré Daumier, Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, and Richard Diebenkorn, among others. The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, has an active collecting program and regularly organizes acclaimed special exhibitions, many of which travel internationally. The Intersections series features projects by contemporary artists, responding to art and spaces in the museum. The Phillips also produces award-winning education programs for K–12 teachers and students, as well as for adults. The museum’s Center for the Study of Modern Art explores new ways of thinking about art and the nature of creativity, through artist visits and lectures, and provides a forum for scholars through courses, postdoctoral fellowships, and internships. Since 1941, the museum has hosted Sunday Concerts in its wood-paneled Music Room. The Phillips Collection is a private, non-government museum, supported primarily by donations.