(left) Georgia O’Keeffe, Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV, 1930. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe 1987.58.3 (right) Georgia O’Keeffe, Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. VI, 1930. Oil on canvas, 36 x 18 in. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe 1987.58.5
While the National Gallery of Art‘s East Building galleries are closed for renovation, the Phillips is the (ecstatic!) temporary home to two works from Georgia O’Keeffe‘s Jack-in-the-Pulpit series. The series, a total of six canvases, was inspired by O’Keeffe’s close observations of the wildflower in the woods surrounding photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s family home in Lake George, New York. Looking at the images above without this information, what would you have thought these were paintings of? Now imagine encountering just the one on the right, Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. VI. Would you have guessed it was inspired by flora?
The loaned paintings will be on display starting this Thursday alongside other works by O’Keeffe from the Phillips’s own collection, as well as pieces from other members of the Stieglitz Circle including Arthur Dove, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Alvin Langdon Coburn.
(left) Milton Avery, Girl Writing, 1941. Oil on canvas, 48 x 31 3/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1943 (right) Instagram user @sseoheeya’s Avery inspired creation
Instagrammer Seohee Yoon recently shared her version of Milton Avery’s Girl Writing (1941). We think her attention to detail yielded a pretty spot on result! If you’re an artist, what are some pieces that have inspired your own work, either directly or indirectly?
The colors of Nicolas de Staël’s Le Parc de Sceaux are echoed in a neighboring bench. Photo: Elaine Budzinski
Some of my favorite works to view at the Phillips are those that are strongly influenced by the spaces they occupy. A small, inconspicuous alcove next to an elevator displays works by Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Kenneth Noland, while El Greco’s The Repentant St. Peter is framed by wood paneling in a dim corner of the Music Room. The heavy perfume of the Laib Wax Room wafts beyond its small chamber into the bright gallery that houses Pierre Bonnard‘s The Open Window; and the upholstered seats that frame a particular window in another gallery echo the blue gray palette of Nicolas de Staël’s Le Parc de Sceaux. These relationships remind me that although sometimes we see paintings and sculptures as aesthetic objects in the context of a white-walled gallery space, they are also artifacts of individual thought processes and ideas.
Elaine Budzinski, Marketing and Communications Intern