Our Art Institute of Chicago Tour, Gallery 3: Georgia on Her Mind

Blue and Green Music!

Blue and Green Music, 1921. An early attempt, capturing the qualities of sound in pure visuals.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: as part of my 47th birthday celebration, my wife Anne and I drove from Indianapolis up to the Art Institute of Chicago and spent four hours with our eyes wide, jaws dropped, imaginations stimulated, and cameras and phones at the ready. We barely saw half the museum and will have to return someday for more.

The museum had an above-average selection of works by Georgia O’Keeffe, logical given her status as a past student. With her unique modernist vision typically comprising stylized nature in bold contrasts, O’Keeffe holds the distinction of being the only artist with a print adorning the walls of our house (Red Hills and Pedernal. 1936). Anne picked it up on one of our past road trips, and seems to gravitate to her works whenever we run across them in our travels.

Between the two of us, we didn’t set out to capture all their O’Keeffe, but we ended up with enough to give her an entry of her own, presented in chronological order for value-added trivia fun.

Shelton with Sunspots!

The Shelton with Sunspots, N.Y.; 1926. Based on a NYC skyscraper where she lived with her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy!

Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy, 1928.

Black Cross New Mexico!

Black Cross, New Mexico; 1929. After her husband began two-timing her (which went on for years), she began spending her summers out west, noticeably reflected in her later works.

Red Hills with Flowers!

Red Hills with Flowers, 1937. At least one fansite calls this Best O’Keeffe Ever.

Black Place!

The Black Place, 1943. Modeled after a favorite retreat, often hanging out there with friends.

Abiquiu Sand Hills and Mesa!

Abiquiu Sand Hills and Mesa, 1945. By this time she’d bought a second home out in New Mexico. So this was basically a look at her neighborhood.

Sky above Clouds IV!

Sky above Clouds IV, 1965, one of the Institute’s largest works on display. Her husband died in 1946; she moved to the southwest permanently in 1949; and she was all about nature ever after.

How much O’Keeffe did the Art Institute contain, you ask? To me it felt like…miles O’Keeffe.

(…the right ones will get it.)

More to come! Other chapters in this very special MCC maxiseries:

Gallery 1: The Grounds Alone
Gallery 2: The Old Modern Americans
Gallery 4: Two Americans Abroad
Gallery 5: Ye Olde Tyme America
Gallery 6: Very Contemporary
Gallery 7: Monet Growing on Trees
Gallery 8: Posting Post-Impressionist Impressions
Gallery 9: Picasso and the Surreal
Gallery 10: The Last of the Famous International
Gallery 11: Caveat Sculptor
Gallery 12: An Omnibus of Outtakes

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