Georgia O’Keeffe’s clothing provides insight into the artist

Alfred Stieglitz/Courtesy of The Georgia O'Keefe Museum

The aesthetic sensibility of an iconic American artist who remains a muse for designers to this day is explored in “Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style,” which was recently on view in the New York borough of Brooklyn and in North Carolina and is now at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., from Dec. 16 through April 1, 2018.

“It’s the first time you’re going to see Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings in the context of her wardrobe, which has never been seen before, and photographs of her,” says Austen Barron Bailly, the George Putnam Curator of American Art at the Peabody. “So this is really the first exhibition to look at O’Keeffe’s entire creative practice as a painter, as a woman, as a person, and as a subject for dozens and dozens of great American photographers.”

The exhibition contains garments that
O’Keeffe designed and handmade such as an ivory silk ensemble, a black wool dress with pleats, denim and chambray shirts, and bandannas. The clothing and colors reveal the artistic choices O’Keeffe made, adapting a black-and-white wardrobe from her time in New York to the rugged landscape of her new home in the Southwest and always striving for simplicity and practicality in what she wore. 

Works on display include oil and watercolor paintings, garments, accessories, jewelry, photographs, and sculpture. 

O’Keeffe’s signature style is still felt today. Her path to celebrity and her lingering influence are major themes running throughout the exhibition.   

“She really became a household name,” Ms. Bailly says. “These photographs of her were widely published until people became very familiar with her persona, sometimes more than her art. What’s great about this show is that it gives you a chance to put all the pieces back together and really understand her [with] a more 360-degree view of this truly exceptional creative person.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Georgia O’Keeffe’s clothing provides insight into the artist
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today