This book explores Georgia O’Keeffe’s love for Hawai’i through more than 15 paintings inspired by the beautiful landscape.
In 1939, Georgia O’Keeffe, who at 51 was among the most famous artists in the United States, accepted a commission from the Hawaiian Pineapple Company to produce two paintings for advertising campaigns. Her nine-week trip to Hawai’i resulted in 20 paintings, which reveal that O’Keeffe—most commonly associated with the stark deserts of New Mexico—was profoundly inspired by what she saw and experienced on the lush, tropical Hawaiian Islands. The exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i, and this accompanying volume, explores this little-known chapter in the artist’s career. Glowing with color and feeling, these paintings demonstrate O’Keeffe’s unique ability to make anyplace she happened to be in her own, and this groundbreaking volume offers a unique perspective by foregrounding the ecological complexity of the Hawaiian Islands—one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth—that is hidden behind O’Keeffe’s depictions.
THERESA PAPANIKOLAS is Deputy Director of Art and Programs and Curator of European and American Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art.