Virginia Museum Acquires "Iris" Painting

by Frank Dumond, Who Taught O'Keeffe


Resource Library Magazine received news in late November, 1997 that The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has acquired "Iris," a turn-of-the-century oil painting by Frank Vincent DuMond that has a direct bearing on one of the most important paintings already in the Virginia Museum collection, Georgia O'Keeffe's "Light Iris."

Other acquisitions recently approved by the museum's board of trustees include a pair of dining room chairs from about 1907-09 by Greene & Greene, a jewel-encrusted 19th-century royal turban from India, an early-19th-century watercolor from India, and a 14-foot serpent mask from Africa's Bwa culture. The following three pages of this article each contain an image of a recent acquisition.


"Iris" ca. 1895-1902, is an oil on canvas by Frank Vincent DuMond, who taught Georgia O'Keeffe at the Art Students League in New York. Photo by Katherine Wetzel, copyright 1997 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


"Iris" - which measures 91/2 by 61/2 inches - is so lifelike "one could almost reach out and pluck the single, perfect blossom," said Dr. David Park Curry, curator of American arts at the Virginia Museum. Works by DuMond are quite rare in public collections, according to Curry.

DuMond (1865-1951) was a well-known and respected painting teacher at the Art Students League in New York, where O'Keeffe studied. DuMond's "Iris" painting "is a harbinger of O'Keeffe's loosely painted flower images of the 1920s," Curry explains. The museum already owns O'Keeffe's "Light Iris," a 1924 oil on canvas in which the artist "goes beyond DuMond into the heart of the now-giant blossom," Curry said.

The painting, purchased from a private collection in Connecticut, was acquired with funds given by Mrs. Rita Gans of New York.

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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/22/10

This page was originally published in 1997 Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 10/28/11

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