When Georgia O’Keeffe first visited New Mexico in 1917, she was instantly drawn to the stark beauty of its unusual architectural and landscape forms. In 1929, she began spending part of almost every year painting there, first in Taos, and subsequently in and around Alcalde, Abiquiu, and Ghost Ranch, with occasional excursions to remote sites she found particularly compelling. Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico is the first book to analyze the artist’s famous depictions of these Southwestern landscapes.
Beautifully illustrated and gracefully written, the book accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It reproduces the exhibition’s 50 paintings and includes striking photographs of the sites that inspired them as well as diagrams of the region’s distinctive geology. The book examines the magnificence of O’Keeffe’s work through essays by three noted authors.
Barbara Buhler Lynes, Curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and organizer of the exhibition, discusses the relationship of the artist’s paintings to the places that inspired her. Frederick Turner offers an illuminating essay contrasting O’Keeffe’s fabled aloofness from the well-established art colony in Santa Fe with her intense closeness to the local landscape she so fiercely loved. Lesley Poling-Kempes furnishes a fascinating chronicle of O’Keeffe’s years in the region as well as a useful explanation of the geological forces that produced the intense colors and dramatic shapes of the landscapes O’Keeffe painted.
Barbara Buhler Lynes
As an art historian, curator, professor, and preeminent scholar on the art and life of Georgia O’Keeffe, Lynes served as the founding curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico from 1999-2012, where she curated or oversaw more than thirty exhibitions of works by O’Keeffe and her contemporaries. Lynes was also the Founding Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center from 2001-2012. She holds a PhD in French Literature from the University of California, Riverside and a PhD in Art History from Indiana University Bloomington. She has written books, book chapters, and essays on O’Keeffe and other American modernists.