Last week the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe unveiled a painting honored by the US Postal Service. O’Keeffe is the only woman artist included on the newly released Modern Art in America 1913 to 1931 stamp series. The O’Keeffe work used on the stamp is Out Back of Marie’s II painted in 1930, the artist’s second summer in New Mexico. At the time, she was a guest at the H & M Ranch owned by her friend, Marie Garland. The ranch was in Alcalde, north of Santa Fe.
The 12 stamps, according to the USPS “commemorate a dozen modern artists and their works, 100 years after the groundbreaking Armory Show opened in New York in 1913.” The official title of the event was International Exhibition of Modern Art. The view O’Keeffe captured is of Black Mesa, a sacred place for the Santa Clara Pueblo. Georgia O’Keeffe’s is the only woman artist included in the series. The painting reproduced for the stamp is now hanging in Gallery One at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Some of the other artists included on the sheet, which has a bit about each artist on the back, are Marcel Duchamp, Marsden Hartley, Gerald Murphy, Man Ray and Joseph Stella.
This is not the first time O’Keeffe has been honored by the USPS. Her 1927 work, Red Poppy, was on a stamp issued in 1996, the 10th anniversary of her death.
While at the museum for the official unveiling of the painting we took another look at Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage one of the current exhibitions. The iconic American photographer’s work from a two year journey of discovery, are on view until May 5th. This time I noticed things I missed on my first go-through when Leibovitz escorted a group of Santa Fe writers through the not-yet-opened show. The photo that really caught my eye this time was of Graceland. I think it’s the living room- or maybe parlor is a more correct term for a room with a grand chandelier. The play of light and shadow Leibovitz caught is otherworldly. It hangs between Elvis’ Harley and a TV with the shot-out screen. The first time, drawn by these two more dramatic images, I missed this more subtle work. I’m glad we got to go back.
Opening May 17th: Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land, currently on display at the Denver Museum through April 28th. The works cover the period from 1929, the first year she painted in NM through 1953, the last year she painted the New Mexico landscape. The museum says this about the works included in the show, “Less familiar is the rich array of imagery that reveals the expanse of her initial curiosity about her new environment, and her sensitivity to the diversity of people and cultures of New Mexico. “
It you’re an O’Keeffe fan, buy the stamps and visit the museum to see Out Back of Marie’s II in person.