Recent word-of-mouth on the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum inspired my visit there this Saturday afternoon. You do need to reserve a ticket which keeps the crowds manageable.
From the get-go, the first wall descriptor of the artist’s life drew me right in:
Georgia O’Keeffe has never allowed her life to be one thing and her painting another.
~ Quote from a longtime friend Frances O’Brien (1927)
The show was very much a reflection of that integrated life including several pieces of clothing from the artist’s wardrobe among the many photographs and paintings. I looked most closely at the stitching details of the dresses she made herself and stared hard at the Ferragamo shoes in the display case.
There were fewer distractions in her lifetime–no internet or social media–to contend with, but she reduced them further by moving herself to the American southwest where she located a home with a door (that’s right–a door) that she couldn’t resist. That was my big takeaway. That something as simple as an architectural feature can draw one’s attention so profoundly that she had to live there.
We can’t always name what causes us to take action, but trusting our inner process is a key to living an integrated life.
For me, this artist is a powerful icon for growing and aging with grace, talent and ambition. Anyone else see the show? What were your takeaways?
P.S. I loved seeing this piece of correspondence from the 20’s, especially the price list of her paintings which ranged from $700 – $5000.