Georgia O'Keeffe is a legend of 20th-century American art. Her life and work, well documented in her lifetime and since, have taken on mythic proportions. Hawaiʻi is also mythic in our national psyche-a paradisiacal place of healing and renewal.
In Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawaiʻi, Patricia Jennings Morris tells the story of their encounter, offering glimpses and a fresh look at the process of the great artist through the eyes of a pre-war teen in territorial Hawaiʻi. O'Keeffe's 20 lush paintings of island flora and landscapes are reproduced together here for the first time. Reflecting on her time on Maui, O'Keeffe wrote, "I enjoy this drifting off into space on an island.” Years later, she added, it was one of "the best things I have done."
In 1940, O'Keeffe's Hawaiʻi paintings were exhibited at a An American Place in New York to critical acclaim, yet in the years since, they've only been displayed all together once. In the introduction to Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawaiʻi, art historian Jennifer Saville asserts that, "O'Keeffe's nine-week sojourn in the Hawaiian Islands helped shape her career, bridging themes examined earlier to later subjects. This heartwarming, informative read fills a gap in our knowledge about the life and work of this great artist."