The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) promises to be one of the most important museum exhibitions in New York City this year. Focusing on the iconic artist’s immersion in the Hawaiian Islands in 1939, this blockbuster show will offer a dramatic floral display in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and bring more than 15 of O’Keeffe’s paintings back to the city, where they have not been seen together since 1940.
Running from May 19 to October 28, 2018, Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i will explore a lesser-known chapter in the artist’s career, the enduring cultural impact of mid-century perceptions of Hawai‘i, and the ecological complexity of the Hawaiian Islands, one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.
NYBG has partnered with Grand Hyatt New York and Metro-North to provide visitors with a seamless way to experience the exhibition and is offering a package with a discounted rate, admission to the exhibition and round-trip rail tickets from Grand Central Terminal to NYBG.
The exhibition will feature a lush flower show in NYBG’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory that evokes the gardens and landscapes that inspired O’Keeffe as well as the complex story of the flora and unique ecology of Hawai‘i. Featuring plantings designed by Francisca Coelho and set pieces designed by Tony Award-winning designer Scott Pask, the exhibition will also introduce visitors to the profound importance of plants in Hawaiian culture and growing concerns about threats to native Hawaiian plants.
The exhibition continues in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Art Gallery at NYBG, which will offer a rare opportunity to see a group of more than 15 of O’Keeffe’s paintings that were created during a nine week sojourn commissioned by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole) in 1939. O’Keeffe spent time on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i, and the Big Island of Hawai‘i, resulting in stunning depictions of mountains and waterfalls as well as her signature close-cropped views of flowers and plants she observed. The works are currently in private and museum collections, and were last seen together in New York in 1940 at Alfred Stieglitz’s An American Place gallery. The exhibition is curated by art historian Theresa Papanikolas, Ph.D., of the Honolulu Museum of Art.
During the exhibition, Aloha Nights will take place on select Saturday evenings in June, July and August, offering after-hours viewing of Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, with cocktails and Hawaiian fare available for purchase from the new STARR Events Poke Truck. On select Celebrate Hawai‘i Weekends, held in collaboration with The Hawaiian Islands, there will be performers, artists, and artisans from Hawai‘i, with live music and artisan demonstrations that will showcase the time-honored traditions and unique cultural heritage of the Islands.