3 Minute Art History Lesson: Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most interesting artists of the 20th century. From flowers to cityscapes and everything in between, O’Keeffe managed to develop a style completely her own and thrive doing it. Her abstract work meant to translate her feelings into color, while her more representational work held hidden meanings and symbology.

O’Keeffe studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Art Students League of New York where she was taught traditional realism techniques, however in 1912 her artistic approach changed dramatically with her interest in Arthur Wesley Dow, a 19th century painter and art educator.

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Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy, 1928; Oil on canvas; 30 1/10 × 40 in

 

Georgia O’Keeffe married photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz in 1924, who was one of the first to display her work publicly. She was a strong female artist and is a role model to female artists and the feminist movement to this day. O’Keeffe’s most promising and well known work came from her time spent in New Mexico, where she first visited in 1929. She would go on to make this her permanent home in 1949, a few years after her husband’s death.

O’Keeffe was recognized as one of America’s (if not the world’s) leading modern artists during her time working, especially with her scenes of urban New York City. These scenes contrasted directly with her later New Mexico landscapes but proved to show an interesting juxtaposition on the American view. Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.29.41 PM

                                             City Night, 1926; Oil on canvas; 48 × 30 in; 121.9 × 76.2 cm

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                           Red Hills with Flowers, 1937; Oil on canvas; 20 × 25 in; 50.8 × 63.5 cm

O’Keeffe died at the age of 98, in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 6th, 1986. She managed to continue painting until nearly 80 years old. Her failing eyesight forced her to enlist the help of assistants to create art with her near the end of her life. Her creativity and spirit however never diminished with age.

12 Studios of Famous 20th Century Artists

A studio is meant to be not only to be a place of work, but a place of inspiration, a sacred space. These artists studios, their creative spaces, are almost like physical and spacial representations of their creativity.

Looking at these studios, you almost feel like you were there when some of the greatest works of the 20th century were being made! If you find this interesting, head over to Bored Panda  for an extensive list of artists and their studios.

Tell us what you think!

What does your creative space look like? Share in the Comments!

 

7 Ways to Appreciate Spring Arts in DC

Spring is, without a doubt, the loveliest time in the District. The weather is fair, the blossoms are blooming, and tourists fill up the streets to bring the city back to life.

With the beautiful spring weather comes rejuvenation, suddenly your winter laziness disappears into a liveliness and energy that craves activities. Luckily, in a city that practically worships the spring time, there’s plenty to do.

Cherry Blossom Festival

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Seeing the cherry blossoms in the spring here in DC is a requirement if you are a resident of the metro area. The season is estimated to start on March 20th, with peak blooming time supposedly being March 31st- April 4th. Whether you’re interested in the history of the cherry blossoms or just wish to go to the events surrounding the festival (i.e music, parades, fireworks and more) there’s really something for everyone. It’s a great way to celebrate the coming of spring in DC and the beauty surrounding it is sure to inspire some creativity.

Hillwood Estate Gardens

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This historical estate and museum is also home to some really beautiful garden spaces perfect for springtime walks. There are an array of flowers blooming in the 13 different outdoor areas of the Hillwood estate, enough to get your dose of nature for the season. Definitely check out the Japanese Garden as it is beautiful and calming- a nice way to take in the outdoors while doing some much needed introspection after the winter.

Dumbarton Oaks

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Dumbarton Oaks Garden has some of the most beautiful scenery in Georgetown, with 13 enclosed gardens and 11 informal gardens. It is a huge plot of land dedicated to people getting back into nature and history. The Rose garden is especially delightful if you’re looking for an Alice in Wonderland/Secret Garden type of escape. The Orchard is also quite beautiful for strolling around, but unfortunately you won’t be getting any fruit to eat as the fruit trees were replaced by crabapple trees some years ago-still, it offers plenty of room for kids and adults to explore. Take a quick look around the museum as well while you have the chance!

Botanical Gardens

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The US Botanic Gardens are a great way to enjoy rare and exotic plant life all year round! However, Spring  is a time when we need to be rejuvenated in the ways of the outdoors and a visit to the botanic gardens is absolutely the way to do it. From exotic plants to a butterfly garden, the botanical gardens are quite literally an escape from the daily grind of city life. Not only a great opportunity to appreciate the natural world but the colors and atmosphere are a sure way to get your creative juices flowing. Great for solo walks for contemplation or bringing the whole family for a nice warm stroll; this is not something you want to miss.

NGA sculpture Garden

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The National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden is also open year round but the best time to enjoy the artwork is the Spring. There may be many tourists but the people watching is just as good as the art itself. From a Alexander Calder to Roy Lichtenstein, the Sculpture Garden offers so much wonderful artwork right out in the open. Best for bringing a book and an iced coffee, strolling through the garden, and sitting next to your favorite piece. Not something to miss on a beautiful spring day.

National Arboretum

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The National Arboretum is a monumentally wonderful way to celebrate the Spring time. With beautiful colonnades, a bonsai museum, and friendship garden among some of the things you can visit, it’s a truly wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful weather and inspiring views.

 

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

 

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The Sculpture Garden at the Hirsshorn museum has beautiful modern art to look at, free of admission, right off the national mall. The garden has ample room for sitting or strolling and the works of art are absolutely inspiring. This is something that is best seen in warm weather because the nature of the art works on display are cause for contemplation and more than just a quick look. This is a garden that will pique your curiosity and give you lots to think about!

April Gallery Openings to Look Forward To In DC

Spring time is the best time to take a day and go gallery hopping! Even better is attending a gallery opening with refreshments, people, and the potential to meet the artist. We have a list of gallery openings happening throughout the month of April that are dying to be checked out!

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Friday, April 1st

Arts Club of Washington

Featured Exhibition(ers): Jack Hannula and Sandra Gobar; 6:30-8:30pm; 2017 I street NW, Downtown

Hillyer Art Space

Featured Exhibition(ers): Sascha Hughes- Caley, Christina Shmigel, Heloisa Escudero; 6-9pm; 9 Hillyer ct. NW; Dupont Circle

Studio Gallery 

Featured Exhibition(ers): Eleanor Kotlarik Wang; 6-8pm; 2108 R St. NW, Dupont Circle

Touchstone Gallery

Featured Exhibition(ers): The Bloom is On, Rob Goebel, Rosemary Luckett; 6-8:30pm; 901 New York Ave NW, Downtown

 

Saturday, April 2nd

Foundry Gallery

Featured Exhibition(ers): Lindsay Mullen, Visual Meditations; 5-8pm; 2118 8th Street, NW, Downtown

Washington Printmakers Gallery

Featured Exhibition(ers): Alex Keto; 3-5pm; 1641 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Georgetown

 

Friday, April 8th

Susan Calloway Fine Arts 

Featured Exhibition(ers): Dean Fisher; 6-8pm; 1643 Wisconsin Ave; Georgetown

 

Saturday, April 9th

Studio Gallery

Featured Exhibition(ers): Eleanor Kotlarik Wang; 4-6pm; 2108 R St. NW, Dupont Circle

 

Have any other recommendations for April Exhibitions? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

3 Tips To Get Your Art Collection Started The Right Way

 

 

Jennifer Stoner Interiors/John Magor Photography. Post 108, No. 1, oil on canvas, 60x48, 2009.

Jennifer Stoner Interiors/John Magor Photography. Post 108, No. 1, oil on canvas, 60×48, 2009.

Collecting and displaying art for your home makes you the curator of your own exhibit, except this exhibit is an extension of yourself.

They say that you don’t buy a piece of art, you invest in it… and while this sounds like a cliché, in reality, it can’t be more true. Artwork of good quality will not only enhance your personal environment, it will also stay with you for generations to come.

Art isn’t just meant to be beautiful, it should speak to something deeper within you-evoking a cherished memory or feeling.

Art is meaningful and for that reason it should be treated with respect in your household. So how do you go about finding the perfect piece of art for your home?

First thing’s first- change your mindset! Many choose art in order to fit alongside or “match” their home. But remember you’re making an investment! The art you choose shouldn’t be based on any other factor than the piece speaks to you in some way and for that reason, you choose to display it in your home. It isn’t meant as simply “decor,” it creates atmosphere– while your furniture or wall color might change, if bought properly, your art display will not.

A beautiful Javier Cabada painting site perfectly in the center of a large living room, acting as a burst of color and a focal point!

A beautiful Javier Cabada painting sits perfectly in the center of a large living room, acting as a burst of color and a focal point!

Do your research! If you’re truly looking to buy a piece of art that will not only stay with you for years (if not generations) to come, you must know what you are getting yourself into before you purchase! Work with an art dealer or gallery, look into the background/predicted future of the artist who created the work, and discuss how to hang or present it! Not only do you want to make sure you get a return on your investment, you also want to know exactly how to handle your new acquisition. You can never get too much help, especially if you’re just getting started collecting. *Plus* When guests ask about that amazing piece hanging in your living room, you’ll know exactly what to say about it.

Viewers Look at a Hebert Sanchez Painting at the Aquamarine Exhibition

Viewers Look at a Hebert Sanchez Painting, Aquamarine Exhibition, Aaron Gallery

Don’t let anyone else influence your decision- while it is important to be informed about the pieces you buy and receiving help can’t hurt, always remember to trust yourself in the end. Art is a completely subjective experience, both to the artist and the viewer. It is important that you always go with your gut about purchasing a piece because in the end, it’s you and your family who will be looking at it most. If you find that a piece is a good investment but you can’t find it in your heart to say you love the work, don’t do it! You’ll know the right piece of art when you see it.

 

 

Do you have any tips for displaying art or your own photos to share? Comment below!

5 Book Recommendations Based On Your Favorite Artist

If you love…

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat

 

© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Algonquin Books (March 8, 2016)

Algonquin Books (March 8, 2016)

We Love You Charlie Freeman is a book that tackles race and language, much like Basquiat’s work which developed from his poetic street art of NYC. Kaitlyn Greenidge writes about an african american family asked to raise and teach sign language to a chimpanzee at a New England Research Institute whose dark history challenges readers. This novel explores heavy topics with a graceful humor and contemplation.

 

 

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí Lobster Telephone, 1938 West Dean College - part of The Edward James Foundation Group © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2015

Salvador Dalí
Lobster Telephone, 1938
West Dean College – part of The Edward James Foundation Group
© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2015

Riverhead Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2015)

Riverhead Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2015)

 

Master of the unconscious mind, Dali’s work was heavily based on symbolism and dreams, trying to understand the surreal elements of what we call reality. If you enjoy his mind-bending art, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies is for you. Filled with mythological elements and a psychologically sharp take on domesticity, this is one book bound to leave you wanting more.

 

Claude Monet

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

 

Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (February 7, 2011) Elizabeth Bard

Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (February 7, 2011)
Elizabeth Bard

If you like Monet’s soft but deconstructed landscapes then Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris is a must read for you. A humorous memoir filled with the romance of paris and being abroad all the while tackling real life issues, like not knowing where you fit in the world. This book is separated into chapters by recipes that Bard collected (or created) herself and is sure to inspire as much as entertain.

 

Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632 - 1675 ), Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1664, oil on canvas, Widener Collection 1942.9.97

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632 – 1675 ), Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1664, oil on canvas, Widener Collection 1942.9.97

Back Bay Books (April 7, 2015), Donna Tartt

Back Bay Books (April 7, 2015), Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch tells the story of a young man’s life growing up in New York City- filled with love, loss, thievery, and Dutch paintings, this book will keep you entranced just like Vermeer’s beautiful paintings do. It is a smartly done and meticulous book that will keep readers turning pages, grieving and laughing alongside characters; This book will not disappoint.

 

Leonardo Da Vinci

The Louvre, Leonardo Da Vinci

The Louvre, Leonardo Da Vinci

Pocket Books; Reissue edition (August 25, 2015)

Pocket Books; Reissue edition (August 25, 2015)

If you like Da Vinci’s methodical and calculated artworks then Kathy Reich’s Deja Dead is the book you’ll want to read. Written by a forensic anthropologist, this hit novel from the 90’s is smart and full of surprises. The novel (plus the many more after this one in the series) follows a forensic anthropologist on her quest to solve a case that becomes personal. It is captivating and sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.