Art of the American Scene

StreetArt2016hhChristie's-O'KeeffeChristie's-O'Keeffe1921Art sales, this week in NYC, continue to reflect a decline in the market for American art, with works by Georgia O’Keeffe being a notable exception. Lake George Reflections (c.1921-2) sold for $12.9 million yesterday at Christie’s.

Seventy-years ago, the Museum of Modern Art, under the direction of James Johnson Sweeney, gave Georgia O’Keeffe her first retrospective at that institution. The show was a major NY happening, with over 12,000 tickets printed for the May 14, 1946 opening. Several weeks into the show, one of the MoMA board members asked Sweeney about the possibility of buying an O’Keeffe painting from the show (White Canadian Barn, 1932). Sweeney said the price would be $2500, to which the (female) board member replied that she had thought it would be “several hundred dollars.” The present work was not in that retrospective.

Note: The painting was presented at Christie’s both vertically and horizontally.

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