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Georgia O'Keeffe Paintings Permanently Installed in Milwaukee Art Museum

 

A selection of the Milwaukee Art Museum's Georgia O'Keeffe paintings will be permanently installed in the Bradley Galleries beginning September 4, 2003. With a total of 22 works in the collection, the Milwaukee Art Museum is a leading repository for O'Keeffe's work, the fourth largest of its kind of any museum in the United States and the only dedicated O'Keeffe Gallery East of Santa Fe. The installation coincides with the return of many of the works from the critically acclaimed O'Keeffe's O'Keeffes: The Artist's Collection exhibition tour organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum.

"The Milwaukee Art Museum is pleased to have the O'Keeffe paintings back from such a successful exhibition tour and on view together for the enjoyment of visitors," said David Gordon, MAM Director and CEO. "Having all of the paintings on view in the same gallery for the first time really allows people to see the strength and depth of our O'Keeffe collection."

Most of the Museum's first 11 O'Keeffes were gifts of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley. The artist graciously attended the 1975 opening of the Museum's major addition, which houses the Bradley collection. During the late 1990s, the Museum received a gift of 10 additional O'Keeffe works from the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation and Jane Bradley Pettit, who continued and expanded her mother's legacy. With this acquisition and one additional work from the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation, the number of O'Keeffe works in the Milwaukee Art Museum's Collection is now at 22. Key works on view include Grey and Brown Leaves, 1929; Pelvis with Blue (Pelvis I), 1944; and Poppies, 1950. (left Georgia O'Keeffe, Poppies, 1950, Collection of Milwaukee Art Museum)

 

O'Keeffe Background

Georgia O'Keeffe's tie to Wisconsin makes the new installation even more meaningful to the Milwaukee Art Museum and its visitors. Born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O'Keeffe spent her formative years in the state taking drawing lessons and attending high school in Madison. After her family moved to Virginia, O'Keeffe attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Student's League. Following a stint of teaching art in public schools in Amarillo, Texas, O'Keeffe returned to New York to study at Teacher's College, Columbia University.

At the time of her death in 1986 at the age of 98, O'Keeffe owned more than half of her overall output: approximately 400 works in oil, charcoal, pastel, pencil and watercolor as well as more than 700 sketches in various mediums. She designated in her will the distribution of 52 of the works in her collection to eight American museums in Chicago, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

 

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum includes the new Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, completed in October, 2001 and named by Time magazine "Best Design of 2001"; renovated and reinstalled permanent collection galleries; and elegant public gardens designed by noted landscape architect Dan Kiley. The Museum's 2001 expansion provided a 30 percent increase in overall gallery space, enhanced educational and public programming facilities, and expanded public amenities.

The Milwaukee Art Museum's far-reaching holdings include more than 20,000 works spanning antiquity to the present day. With a history dating back to 1888, the Museum's primary strengths are in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, American decorative arts, Old Master works, and folk and self-taught art.

 

Editor's note: Readers may also enjoy these earlier articles in RLM:

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