Great Washington Museums: Georgia O’Keeffe at the National Gallery of Art

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the National Gallery of Art’s signature works by a woman artist, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jack-in-Pulpit Abstraction—No. 5. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Georgia O’Keeffe, Jack-in-Pulpit Abstraction - No. 5, 1930; Oil on canvas, 48 x 30 in.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe, 1987.58.4

Georgia O’Keeffe, Jack-in-Pulpit Abstraction – No. 5, 1930; Oil on canvas, 48 x 30 in.; Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe, 1987.58.4

In 1930, Georgia O’Keeffe painted a series of six canvases depicting a jack-in-the-pulpit. The series begins with the striped and hooded bloom rendered with a botanist’s care, continues with successively more abstract and tightly focused depictions, and ends with what might be the essence of the jack-in-the-pulpit, a haloed black pistil standing alone against a black, purple, and gray field. No. 5 represents an advanced point in O’Keeffe’s process of increasing detail and abstraction to discover the immanence of nature. On view through May 2013 in the NGA East Building.

National Gallery of Art, 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW; www.nga.gov