September 27, 2013

field trip: to georgia + lake george

Looking out the train window to the Hudson River  
Speeding past Bannerman Castle 
Inside the exhibition 
"Lake George" 1922
"Starlight Night, Lake George" 1922
Some of her tree paintings
Funny quote from Georgia 
Her jack-in-the-pulpit series 
Leaving the Hyde Collection 
The front of the Hyde house
The "Minnie Ha-Ha" paddle-boat on Lake George
The moon over the Hudson, as the train pulls out of the Poughkeepsie station 

"Isn't dark curious––Sometimes it is still with you––Sometimes you are just alone and it's way off––Sometimes it chases you––I wished for you and the Lake blackness––and coolness like one feels from the big trees reaching down––" 
[Georgia to Stieglitz, September 26, 1916] 
I've been making my way very slowly through the letters between Georgia O'Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz for a while now (really Yale University Press, you couldn't have published smaller volumes than 816 pages?) and reading her unique voice has been such a gift. My understanding of her and her work has been changing as a result – she is no longer the cheesy flower painter adorning dorm rooms, she is a pioneer, a fiercely independent woman who made bold paintings of the nature around her.

Which is why, on a recent Sunday morning, I walked 20 minutes to take a 30-minute subway ride to Grand Central Station in order to board a 2-hour train ride to Poughkeepsie, where my friend E picked me up in her car and drove us the final 2 hours to Glen Falls, New York, a small town just south of Lake George and the Adirondacks.

This tiny town is the home of the Hyde Collection, a small museum and historic house just off the main street, which had put together the first exhibition ever to show all the work Georgia had made during her many stays at Stieglitz's family home on Lake George (which has since been sold and turned into a subdivision). Seeing her starlight night painting and the suite of the jack-in-the-pulpit paintings was worth the long journey, but to see them just a few miles from where they were made was just incredible.

.....

To read more about the exhibition and see more of the paintings in the exhibition, check out this article on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/75531/a-painters-retreat-georgia-okeeffe-and-lake-george/

And if you missed the show, there is an excellent catalogue from Thames & Hudson which is not, ehem, 816 pages. 

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