Leave a Comment

  • Your mention of Ferragamo flats made me think of the Pappagallo flats that were de rigueur for trendy young things in the 1980s. I had two pair: one black and one brown. Both showed toe cleavage. Ah, memories!

    Anyway, lovely peak at Ms. O’Keefe’s wardrobe!

    • To this day I have to stop myself from saying Famolare when I mean Ferragamo. Remember those crazy things? I have never had a pair of Ferragamos but the Famolare craze did not pass me by. I looked *amazing* in those wavy wonders.

      • I too had Famolares! XXO

      • Famolare! OMG! My BFF in college had a couple of pairs of those. I have not thought about them for years, but I was fascinated by them at the time. Thanks for the blast from the past!

  • Enjoyed this. Thanks! Doubt I’ll be able to catch the exhibit any where, so the tour was great.

  • So glad this show is coming to the Peabody so I can easily drive down from Maine to see it! And all winter! Thanks for the notice–

  • So how about that painting that looks like a shawl (in blues) JFC get on that! So wish it were coming to a museum near me. Maybe I’ll have to go to Boston.

  • PS the book links takes you to a book on decluttering. Is that part of the GOK message?

    • Thank you for catching this!

    • Lol! Thanks ML!

  • Love the pictures, exhibit info and your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks, Julia.

  • I wonder when we will see the clothing of Matisse or Picasso. How about deKooning or Pollock? Steiglitz, O’Keefe’s husband, comes across as a sharp dresser in photographs. Or what about Klee? With his eye for color and pattern, his clothes must have been fabulous.

    Of course, they were all men.

    • I have thought about this a lot this morning. Just thought I’d jump in and ‘think out loud’ with you.

      I usually begin by asking: How are we (the viewing public) better informed by viewing an artist’s lifestyle? In most instances? Not much better informed. And yet… we all can’t help but be captivated by an artist’s biographical details – details that can often supersede the work (and which cause many an Art Historian great headache in re-directing our collective attention).

      The act of looking is political. And famous women artists have never had much success in total re-direction of that act of looking. Georgia O’Keeffe proclaimed agency for herself as an artist and even as an ‘image’. She was an astute modernist. And she willfully conveyed her own singular vision through her intellectual work, and through her own reverse gaze through photographs in which she is the subject.

      I think that’s why it’s relevant, and that’s why more can be revealed by viewing her modernist aesthetic as it pertained to home, clothing and self. It’s something that’s copacetic with the notion of Modern Woman, and the creation of the image of modern woman.

    • What is interesting and missing here is the idea of an”artist’s garb” which was something that was increasingly popularized by O’Keefe’s mentors and contemporaries, most of them men. In the gendered culture of the day (and ever after) women had/have no choice but to be continually evaluated objects, so it was a liberty male artists enjoyed to choose to position themselves as works of art in their personas by dressing the part. Many of the artists of the Aesthetic Movement like Rossetti and Whistler had adopted “artist dress”, women such as Frida Kahlo and Sonia Delaunay also come to mind. But O’Keefe’s archive is extensive and beyond much of what others had left for us to examine. It’s easy to wring ones hands over the potential for sexist impulses here (others’ and our lamentable own), but that’s too simple a reaction to what O’Keefe intended. To know her work and her ideas is to complicate the matter. We see her attempt to “ungender” the identity politics of art, and meanwhile to see the bridge she built between the privilege of galleried artistic production and the unrecorded domestic artistry of talented women: what Alice Walker called “our Mothers’ Gardens”, the daily acts by women (for Walker specifically Black women) whose only artistic materials and spaces were their kitchens, their sewing, and their gardens. But yes, I agree I would love to see male artists excavated for their self-fashioning. We have portraits and photographs of them, formal and informal, so the biographical evidence is there. Some were exacting wardrobe masters at work: Sargeant sometimes sewed costumes for his sitters (ah! You thought all those white dresses were mere happenstance?), Matisse staged tapestries and draperies for studio sittings and collected graphic clothing items he used again and again. Sadly, our only evidence is in a frame, so the responsibility falls to a visionary curator to build the evidence. I shall eagerly wait for that show with you.

  • I was in NYC last month and I didn’t know about this exhibit! I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get this on my radar, because this exhibit looks fascinating. [contemplates a late-winter visit to Boston/Salem]

  • I enjoyed this post so much. I saw the exhibit about a week before you did, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I didn’t splurge for the book, but I think I’m going to have to own it so I can learn even more about O’Keeffe and her clothes and her image making. If anyone is going to see it in Brooklyn in the next week or so, be sure to download the museum’s app–you can get answers to your questions about any of the pieces! https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/ask

    • You’re the best Beverly! Thanks for plugging the app! (Full disclosure for anyone reading this, my daughter is one of the team who answers questions sent through the app, so I am very enthusiastic about this.) Questions are answered promptly, the Ask Brooklyn Museum team are happy to answer follow up questions, and continue the conversation as long as you’d like. The app functions like texting, you can even send photos of the piece you have questions about. I might be biased, but I think the ability to ask questions and discuss the exhibit with knowledgeable museum staff, while you’re in the gallery, is pretty awesome. I had a lovely chat with one of the team, Rachel (not my daughter, she passed me on to one of her co-workers). Rachel had me walking around the gallery looking at pieces I’d passed by and not thought twice about on first viewing. Her insightful comments made me see them in a whole new way.

  • I loved seeing this when Kay first posted, and I visited the museum’s website for more. What joy to see this column! I can never get enough O’Keeffe. It interests me that her clothing is all in neutral colors well-suited to her and her painting so colorful.

    I have looked to her art for color inspiration. Right now I imagine a Brambling shawl in the colors of her Sun Water Maine or a shawl for autumn in the shades of Rust Red Hills.

    Oh and I had a pair of Ferragamo flats in the late 1960s that I loved.

  • So glad it will be in Salem. A short hop from Plymouth.

  • Oh, boy! It’s going to be at Reynolda House next! Mom, I think I’ll come down to see you in W-S and we can visit the exhibit together.

  • Great post and it is a great exhibit. Apparently @throughtheloops (Kristen Kapur) and I were there at the same time, but too engrossed in the exhibit to notice. Next time there is a something like this might I suggest a MDK outing. I’m always up for a great museum trip

  • Really enjoyed this, thanks!

  • Oooh! PEM is nearish to me. So glad I’ll have the chance to see this exhibit – thanks for the heads-up!

  • I thought I missed it completely when I didn’t make it to Brooklyn while in NYC last week and I was so sad (14 year old son = Mets game instead, sigh). But the exhibit is going to Winston-Salem next & I live here in North Cakalakee! Wooooohooooo…overjoyment ensues!!! :o)

  • Your writing and photos gave me a wonderful sense of what this exhibit is about! What fun – thank you for posting this, particularly for those of us who won’t be able to see it. Claire

  • Such a great blog! I did visit Georgia O’Keeffe Museum while in New Mexico so time ago and so appreciate Georgia’s sense of panache. Who knew she’s one of us? Saks? Love it! Thanks for this, made my day. This Jersey Girl May trek to Brooklyn after all….

  • pfft this is the worst.