Today I went to the de Young Museum to see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit. There was no photography permitted, so you’ll have to settle for my photos of the gardens and tower from outside. I was surprised to learn that O’Keeffe had rejected the notion that her flowers were metaphors for sexuality:
“Well – I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flowers you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don’t.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Nevertheless, the museum suggests that her painting Brown and Tan Leaves (1928) represents her husband Alfred Stieglitz’s affair with Dororthy Norman, a woman 40 years his junior. Sure, you can see it. The young leaf (Norman) lies on top of the older, torn, and tan leaf (Stieglitz), their stems lining up, with a third smaller leaf (O’Keeffe) cast aside, away from the stem, yet hiding any imperfections on the right side of the tan leaf. But you can’t have it both ways, if her other flowers were just flowers, then these are just leaves. Unless of course she was painting vaginas. . . On that note, here are some leaves and flowers. No really, they are just leaves and flowers.
Here are a few photographs of the Ruth Asawa sculptures in the tower building at de Young.
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. Open Tuesdays – Sundays.
For more information about logistics, click here. I was pleastantly surprised to find out that people with Bank of America accounts receive free general admission during the first weekend of the month. (You still have to pay for the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit.)
© Sarah Milstein 2014