Charles Demuth and Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition at the Demuth Museum

. September 4, 2010 . 0 Comments

The Demuth Museum’s forthcoming exhibition will present a unique examination of the friendship and art work of Charles Demuth (1883-1935) and Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986).

Although their artistic styles were clearly independent, these two artists supported each other in their own creations of the new American modernism in the early twentieth century. While Demuth and O’Keeffe socialized in the same circles in New York City, including their mutual connection with the gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, they established their own special bond. O’Keeffe said “he was a better friend to me than any of the other artists.”

Both artists were struggling to find their artistic voices and be included in Stieglitz’s stable of artists. After 1916, O’Keeffe achieved this goal. Her suite of charcoal drawings from 1915 elicited this remark from Stieglitz: “Finally a woman on paper.” Demuth would have to wait until 1925 to be included in Stieglitz’s group of artists, but in the meantime he and O’Keeffe formed a very close friendship. O’Keeffe moved to New York City in 1918 and the two artists would see each other there or in Lancaster. But it was during O’Keeffe’s visits to Lancaster that the two artists painted in the garden, using the same subject matter and developing their own styles. It is not surprising to learn that Demuth left all of his oil paintings to O’Keeffe after his death. She played a crucial role in distributing them to the major art museums of the country, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Santa Barbara Museum and many others.

This exhibition will feature several works by Demuth drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as a suite of original lithographs made by O’Keeffe in 1968 of her drawings from the teens. Six of the drawings included in this exhibit were part of the initial portfolio that jumpstarted her career at Stieglitz’s gallery. This exhibition is concurrent with Opera Lancaster’s premiere of the original opera, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Woman on Paper, which runs September 16 – 19, 2010 at the Roschel Performing Arts Center in Lancaster, PA.

An opening reception at the Demuth Museum will be held on Friday, September 3, 2010 from 5–8 pm in conjunction with First Friday festivities. Regular Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10-4 & Sunday, 1-4.

Image: Carl van Vechten, Charles Demuth and Georgia O’Keeffe on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, c. 1930. Demuth Museum Archives. Courtesy the Van Vechten Trust.

The Demuth Museum is located at 120 E. King Street, Lancaster, PA 17602.

Please call (717) 299-9940 or visit for more details.

Category: Fine Art News

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