This traveling exhibition, organized by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, is the first to compare the works of two major twentieth century artists: Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) and Ansel Adams (1902-1984). At a time when the art world was dominated by men, O’Keeffe revolutionized the role of women artists with her lyrical, abstract paintings of desert mountains, flowers, plants and bones. Ansel Adams, a photographer and conservationist, helped legitimize photography as an art form with his haunting landscapes of the American West. They met for the first time in 1929 at a gathering of artists and writers in the Taos home of a mutual friend.
Despite the differences in their personalities, age and working methods, O’Keeffe and Adams developed a lifelong friendship through their mutual love of the natural world. The exhibition brings together approximately 100 works from both artists which reveal and contrast the similarities and differences of their views of the environment.
San Francisco Public Library has recently acquired the catalog that accompanies this SFMOMA exhibition for its reference collection. Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities (New York: Little, Brown, and Co., 2008) has superb reproductions of paintings and photographs, as well as insightful essays on both artists. The book is located in the Art and Music Department of the Main Library and may be used inside the library.
In addition to this book, the library also owns a variety of titles on both artists that may be checked out.