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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Music–Pink and Blue No. 1

Photo: Paul Macapia

Music–Pink and Blue No. 1


Georgia O'Keeffe

Born Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, 1887; died Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1986

“I want real things—live people to take hold of—to see—and talk to—Music that makes holes in the sky,” Georgia O’Keeffe wrote in 1916. Two years later, she realized her joyous vision in this painting, whose swirling forms resonate almost audibly as they encircle a deep blue void. For O’Keeffe, abstraction served as a sustaining mode for developing pictorial equivalents to her own, intangible emotions. This is her first major oil painting, and its title and color harmonies alone declare that the world she had dreamed in 1916 had finally coalesced.
Oil on canvas
35 x 29 in. (88.9 x 73.7 cm)
Gift of Barney A. Ebsworth
Provenance: The artist, through 1974; sold through Doris Bry, New York, to Barney Ebsworth, Saint Louis, Missouri, 1974; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2000
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Anderson Galleries, Alfred Stieglitz Presents One-Hundred Pictures, Oils, Water-colors, Pastels, Drawings by Georgia O’Keeffe, American, Jan. 29 - Feb.10, 1923.

New York, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Georgia O’Keeffe, Oct. 8 - Nov. 29, 1970 (Chicago, Illinois, Art Institute of Chicago, Jan. 6 - Feb.7, 1971; San Francisco, California, San Francisco Museum of Art, Mar.15 - Apr. 30, 1971). Text by Lloyd Goodrich. Cat. no. 24, pp. 13-14, 32, reproduced [dated 1919; lent by Georgia O’Keeffe].

Saint Louis, Missouri, The Saint Louis Art Museum, Paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, Sept. 29 - Nov. 3, 1974. No catalogue.

Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting, 1890-1985, Nov. 23, 1986 - Mar. 8, 1987.* Text by Maurice Tuchman et al. No. cat. no., pp. 20, 45, reproduced pl. 21 [dated 1919; *exhibition circulated to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Haags Gemeentemuseum, the Hague, but painting exhibited in Los Angeles only].

Saint Louis, Missouri, The Saint Louis Art Museum, The Ebsworth Collection: American Modernism, 1911-1947, Nov. 20, 1987 - Jan. 3, 1988 (Honolulu, Hawaii, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Feb. 3, 1988 - March 15, 1988; Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, Apr. 6 - June 5, 1988). Text by Charles E. Buckley, William C. Agee, and John R. Lane. Cat. no. 53, pp. 150, 214, reproduced p. 151 [dated 1919].

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Georgia O’Keeffe: 1887-1986 (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nov. 18, 1988 - Feb. 5, 1989; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Apr. 12 - June 18, 1989).* Not in catalogue. [*exhibition organized by National Gallery and circulated to Metropolitan Musuem and Los Angeles County Museum, but painting shown only in New York and Los Angeles].

Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College Museum of Art, Georgia O’Keeffe: Natural Issues, 1918-1924, Apr. 11 - July 12, 1992. Cat. no. 4.

Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection, Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Two Lives, Dec. 12, 1992 - Apr. 4, 1993 (New York, IBM Gallery of Science and Arts, Apr. 27-June 26, 1993; Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, July 17 - Sept.12, 1993; Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts, Oct. 2 - Dec. 5, 1993). Text by Belinda Rathbone, Roger Shattuck, and Elizabeth Hutton Turner. No cat. no., p. 83, reproduced p. 35 [dated 1919].

Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection, In the American Grain: Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Alfred Stieglitz—The Stieglitz Circle at The Phillips Collection (Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Feb. 8 - May 5, 1996).* Not in catalogue. [*exhibition organized by Phillips Collection but painting exhibited in Seattle only].

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Twentieth-Century American Art: The Ebsworth Collection, Mar. 5 - June 11, 2000 (Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Aug.10 - Nov. 12, 2000). Text by Bruce Robertson et al. Cat. no. 49, pp. 191-193, 292-293, reproduced p. 192.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries, Jan. 28 - Apr. 22, 2001. Text by Sarah Greenough et al. Cat. no. 169, p. 448, reproduced p. 449.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5-Sept. 9, 2007. No catalogue.

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction, Sept. 17, 2009-January 17, 2010 (Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection, Feb. 6 - May 9, 2010; Santa Fe, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, May 28 - Sept.12, 2010). Text by Barbara Haskell, et al. No cat. no., pp. 13, 126-127, 212, 228, reproduced plate 48, p. 50.

London, England, Tate Modern, Georgia O'Keeffe, July 6 - Oct. 30, 2016 (Vienna, Austria, Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien, Dec. 7, 2016 - Mar. 26, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, Art Gallery of Ontario, Apr. 22 - Jul. 30, 2017). Text by Tanya Barson, et al. No cat. no., reproduced fig. 27, p. 36.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstract Variations, Mar. 5 - Sept. 7, 2020. Text by Theresa Papanikolas. No cat. no., reproduced on cover (detail), pl. 3, p. 14 (detail), pp. 6, 9-10, 26, 29, 36-37, 62

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, From New York to Seattle: Case Studies in American Abstraction and Realism, Jan. 15, 2020 - June 5, 2022 [on view May 12, 2021 - June 5, 2022].

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art: The Stories We Carry, Oct. 20, 2022 - ongoing.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, Georgia O'Keeffe: To See Takes Time, April 8 - Aug. 12, 2023.
Published ReferencesCrowther, Paul, Isabel Wunsche, ed. "Meanings of Abstract Art: Between Nature and Theory", Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies (2012): fig. 6.6, illus. p. 114.

O’Keeffe, Georgia. Georgia O’Keeffe. New York: Viking Press, 1976; no. 14, reproduced.

Lisle, Laurie. Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. New York: Seaview Books, 1980; p. 102.

Hoffman, Katherine. An Enduring Spirit: The Art of Georgia O’Keeffe. Metuchen, N. J.: Scarecrow Press, 1984;, pp. 2, 31, 68, 100.

Castro, Jan Garden. The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1985; pp. 56, 107.

Rice, Patricia. “Remembering Georgia O’Keeffe,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mar. 20, 1986.

Heller, Nancy G. Women Artists: An Illustrated History. New York: Abbeville Press, 1987; p. 128, reproduced p. 127.

Messinger, Lisa M. Georgia O’Keeffe. 1988; reprint ed. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992; pp. 32-33, reproduced.

Eldredge, Charles C. Georgia O’Keeffe. New York: Harry N. Abrams in association with the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1991; pp. 33-34, 93.

Bry, Doris and Nicholas Callaway, eds. Georgia O’Keeffe: The New York Years. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991; no. 28, reproduced.

Peters, Sarah Whittaker. Becoming O’Keeffe: The Early Years. New York, London, and Paris: Abbeville Press, 1991; pp. 44, 103, 228.

Montgomery, Elizabeth. Georgia O’Keeffe. New York: Dorset Press, 1993; p. 62, reproduced.

Lynes, Barbara Buhler. “The Language of Criticism,” Women’s Art 51 (March-April 1993): p. 4.

Costantino, Maria. Georgia O’Keeffe. New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1994; p. 151, reproduced.

Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan. The American Eye: Eleven Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Doubleday, 1995; p. 19, reproduced.

Hassrick, Peter, ed. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, 1997; p. 35.

Hoffman, Katherine. Georgia O’Keeffe: A Celebration of Music and Dance. New York: George Braziller, 1997; pp. 22, 39, 43, 50, 70, 118, reproduced plate 5.

Lynes, Barbara Buhler. Georgia O’Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonné, 2 vols. New York and London: Yale University Press for the National Gallery of Art, 1999. Vol. I, no, 257, p. 139, reproduced; Vol. II, Appendix III, figure 14, p. 1112.

Messinger, Lisa Mintz. Georgia O’Keeffe. New York and London: Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 2001; pp. 28, 50, 135.

Ngo, Dung, ed., with essay by Franklin Kelly. Art + Architecture: The Ebsworth Collection + Residence. San Francisco: William Stout Publishers, 2006; n.p., reproduced.

Reilly, Nancy Hopkins. Georgia O’Keeffe: A Private Friendship, 2 vols. Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 2007; Vol. I, p. 286; vol. 2, p. 430.

Junker, Patricia. “New York Stories,” in A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2008; pp. 205-206, reproduced plate 171, p. 204.

Junker, Patricia. "A Sense of Place: American Art and the Seattle Art Museum," The Magazine Antiques (November 2008): pp. 115-116, reproduced p. 117, fig. 14.

Udall, Sharyn R. Sensory Crossovers: Synesthesia in American Art. Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Albuquerque Museum, 2010; pp. 20-21, reproduced p. 20.

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