Georgia O'Keeffe, who was born in 1887 and lived nearly 99 years, was a prolific, successful artist whose work was exhibited continually throughout her adult life. To give an impression of the scope of this two-volume boxed set, here is a sentence from the preface by Barbara Buhler Lynes: "The catalogue reproduces and describes 2,045 objects, made by O'Keeffe between 1901 [when she was 14] and 1984." And for an idea of the care Lynes brought to her task, here is the next: "Of these, 2,029 were located and examined between June 1992 and December 1998: 821 on canvas or board; 1,137 on paper...."
Obviously, this catalog will be indispensable to many libraries and museums, but it is also a work that any lover of O'Keeffe's art will pore over for years. From the first pages of volume 1, a reader is struck by the early appearance of motifs that remained essential to O'Keeffe throughout her life: architectural forms; flowers; vases and vessels with monumental, simplified shapes. (After the early years, however, she deals with the human metaphorically, in phallic sculptures or nipple-like seed pods, or the swollen bellies of clay pots.) For those readers who may have fallen out of love a bit during the 1970s--when O'Keeffe's least works seemed to be included in every gathering of second-rate, so-called women's art--these two volumes will renew their passion. Her astonishing talent, which she never betrayed, pulses through these color-saturated pages. While most works are necessarily reproduced smaller than the originals, the book's designers have dealt thoughtfully with issues of scale by increasing the size of the reproductions as O'Keeffe's paintings became larger and printing her vast, late cloudscapes and other large works at full- or double-page size. This is typical of the sensitivity with which this catalog was conceived. --Peggy Moorman
From Library Journal
Lynes, curator of the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, has painstakingly researched all of O'Keefe's known work for this catalogue raisonn?. The result is an elegant two-volume treasure, housed in a slipcase and containing reproductions of over 2000 works. Arranged in chronological order, each reproduction is accompanied by detailed descriptive and historical information. Lynes provides a wealth of information on previous publications, exhibition history, current location, dating, inscriptions, and the provenance for each work. Although O'Keefe fanciers among the general public may enjoy browsing through the catalogue, the reproductions are too small to make this use of the book very satisfying. As a scholarly work, however, it is an essential acquisition for research and specialized collections in 20th-century art history.-Kathryn Wekselman, Univ. of Cincinnati Lib.
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