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Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawaii (pb)

Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawaii (pb)


Author: Patricia Jennings Morris | Paperback

Georgia O'Keeffe is a legend of 20th-century American art. Her life and work, have taken on mythic proportions. Hawai'i is also mythic in our national psyche-a paradisiacal place of healing and renewal. In 1938, the Dole Pineapple Co. invited Georgia O'Keeffe to come to Hawai'i to produce two paintings for their national advertising campaign. She accepted, and in the spring of 1939 spent nine weeks in the Hawaiian Islands. While on Maui, she was hosted by the 12-year-old Patricia Jennings, a daughter of the Hana sugar plantation manager. This encounter would affect both women for the rest of their lives.

In Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawai'i, Patricia Jennings Morris tells the story of their encounter, offering glimpses and a fresh look at the process of the great artist through the eyes of a pre-war teen in territorial Hawai'i. O'Keeffe's 20 lush paintings of Island flora and landscapes are reproduced together here for the first time. Reflecting on her time on Maui, O'Keeffe wrote, "I enjoy this drifting off into space on an island.” Years later, she added, it was one of "the best things I have done.”

In 1940, O'Keeffe's Hawai'i paintings were exhibited at a An American Place in New York to critical acclaim, yet in the years since, they've only been displayed all together once. In the introduction to Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawaii, art historian Jennifer Saville asserts that, “O'Keeffe's nine-week sojourn in the Hawaiian Islands helped shape her career, bridging themes examined earlier to later subjects. This heartwarming, informative read fills a gap in our knowledge about the life and work of this great artist.”