GLENS FALLS — A painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, a pioneering American artist with ties to the Lake George region, is now on display at the The Hyde Collection.
“Pattern of Leaves” (1923) is currently on loan from The Phillips Collection in Washington and will remain on display through May.
The painting’s eight-month stay in Glens Falls coincides with the absence of the museum’s “Boy with Blue Vase,” a 1905 painting by Pablo Picasso, which is currently on loan to the Art Gallery of Toronto and the Phillips Collection as part of the “Picasso: Painting the Blue Period” exhibit.
O’Keeffe was no stranger to the Lake George region, having visited almost annually between 1918 and 1934, where she would stay on the family farm of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz.
Her time visiting the lake heavily influenced her artistic style, though she would downplay the importance of Lake George in the development of her artistic voice later on in life, instead crediting the deserts of American Southwest as her main influence, according to a news release.
O’Keeffe, however, completed more than 200 paintings, sketches and pastels while staying in Lake George, marking one of the most prolific periods of her career. It was during those years that O’Keeffe received her first critical success as an artist, according to the release.
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A 2013 exhibit by The Hyde, “Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George,” sought to highlight the influence the lake had on the artist. The exhibit was put on in association with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in New Mexico.
During her time in Lake George, O’Keeffe took influence from the natural surroundings, including native trees and the vegetables she would grow in her garden.
“Pattern of Leaves” is one of 29 paintings featuring leaves that was completed during O’Keeffe’s time in Lake George.
“Where else but at Lake George would Georgia O’Keeffe have focused her eye on a maple leaf?” said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs at The Hyde. “This work is particularly mesmerizing. O’Keeffe captures the frail beauty of an autumn leaf, riven by a jagged tear. Yet, there’s such depth to the leaf’s dark crimson color that it holds our eye.”
He added: “Perhaps the leaf came from the old maple that we know stood on the Stieglitz family farm, and Alfred Stieglitz photographed and Georgia O’Keeffe painted.”
“Pattern of Leaves” currently hangs alongside a 1936 photograph by Stieglitz of the farm’s housekeeper, Margaret Prosser, and another by Todd Webb of O’Keeffe herself during her 1961 visit to Glen Canyon on the Colorado River. Both photographs are part of The Hyde’s collection.
Nearby, a watercolor of Lake George by a friend of O’Keeffe and frequent visitor to the lake, John Marin, is displayed.
General admission to the exhibition is $12 and $10 for seniors. Admission is free for active-duty U.S. military and their families, students with student IDs, and children 12 and younger.
General admission is free every second Thursday during the exhibition. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chad Arnold is a reporter for The Post-Star covering the city of Glens Falls and the town and village of Lake George and Washington County government. Follow him on Twitter @ChadGArnold.