Release Date: Contact: Alexia Davis
November 9, 2011 561.832.5196 ext. 1183
Exhibition Juxtaposes Western Landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams
Natural Affinities—On View January 24 through May 3, 2009
Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities, on view at the Norton Museum of
Art from January 24 through May 3, 2009, celebrates the deep commitment to the
American landscape shared by these two iconic artists. Natural Affinities explores how
both artists intensely focused their attention on beauty in nature and transformed these
elements with color and tone. The exhibition includes 40 O’Keeffe paintings and 54
While O’Keeffe and Adams both call attention to the abstract aspects of the Western
landscape, they do so in different ways. Adams’ photographs consistently capture
drama in the natural world, whether in the quiet depictions of its awesome intensity or
in works that show its transitory moments, like a sunset, sunrise, moonrise or dramatic
cloud patters—the latter two can be seen in Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. On the
other hand, O’Keeffe rarely depicted the transitory in nature. Rather her landscapes and
vegetation are overwhelming direct and immediate with drama emerging from her
passionate interest in color as in the intense grays, blacks and purples in The Black Iris.
O’Keeffe (1887–1986) and Adams (1902–84) first met in 1929 in Taos, New Mexico
when Adams traveled to photograph the pueblo and O’Keeffe traveled from New York
City to spend the first of many summers painting in New Mexico, which she made her
permanent home in 1949. At their first meeting, Adams was unknown in the art world,
but O’Keeffe was one of its most well-known and celebrated modernist painters.
Despite this and the difference in their ages (she was 42 and he was 27), they
immediately became friends. Their deep commitment to and mutual admiration of the
unspoiled, western landscape solidified a friendship that lasted the remainder of their
The first exhibition to bring together an important selection of these artists’ paintings
and photographs, Natural Affinities showcases their modernist sensibilities, reverence
for American cultural nationalism and awe for the natural world. The works date from
the 1920s forward showing ongoing interaction with their surroundings. Because of
each artist’s intense feelings for their surroundings, each affectionately claimed a
section of it as their own—northern New Mexico for O’Keeffe and Yosemite and the
Sierra Nevada for Adams. Anne Hammond, an Honorary Research Scholar at the Georgia
O’Keeffe Museum’s Research Center in 2001 and a specialist in the work of Ansel
Adams, curated the exhibition.
Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities was organized by the Georgia
O’Keeffe Museum. The exhibition was made possible in part by MetLife Foundation,
the exhibition’s Lead National Sponsor, and by The Burnett Foundation and the Georgia
O’Keeffe Museum National Council.
Sunday Exhibition Lecture Series
Ansel Adams: In Focus
Alan Ross, photographer and former assistant to Ansel Adams.
Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Preview the exhibition for your class trip; call to register (561) 832-5196, ext. 1198.
Live! at the Norton
Piano Duo Gastesi-Bezerra
Husband and wife pianists Marcio Bezerra and Estibaliz Gastesi perform music inspired by art,
including paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe.
Look at the environment from an exciting new perspective! Create sculpture with nature’s own
Using materials found in nature, reinvent the ways you create and perceive sculpture.
Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities
Charles Stainback, William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography
VSA arts of Florida- Palm Beach County Teen Program
Teens with disabilities participate in gallery activities and hands-on art projects.10:00 a.m. - 12:30
p.m.; limited to 20 students, ages 13-18 and their parents/guardian; $10 fee payable at the
door. Call Donald Perez at (561) 966-7026 or email DMPerez@pbcgov.org to register.
The Norton Museum of Art is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 to
5 p.m. (Closed Mondays from May through October and on major holidays.) General
admission is $8 for adults, $3 for visitors ages 13-21, and free for Members and children
under 13. An additional charge may apply for special exhibitions. West Palm Beach
residents receive free admission to the permanent collection every Saturday, with proof
of residency. Palm Beach County residents receive free admission to the permanent
collection the first Saturday of each month, with proof of residency. For additional
information, please call (561) 832-5196 or visit www.norton.org