Tate Modern’s first exhibition after it opens its new extension this summer will be a major show on Georgia O’Keeffe, the largest ever held in Britain. Key loans will include Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1 (1932)—the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction. Deaccessioned by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to fund other acquisitions, it was bought at Sotheby’s in 2014 for $44.4m by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, which is backed by the Walmart heiress Alice Walton.
Georgia O'Keeffe, Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1, 1932. Photo: Edward C. Robison III, © 2016 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS, London
Achim Borchardt-Hume, the director of exhibitions at Tate Modern, says O’Keeffe was chosen because the gallery wants to present more female artists and more American Modernism. A quarter of the loans to the Tate show will come from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Sante Fe. Astonishingly, there are no works by the artist in any UK public collection.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe (1918). Photo: ©The J. Paul Getty Trust
The exhibition, which will travel to Vienna and Toronto, will also benefit from research into the New Mexico museum’s archives. In the past few years, access has been gradually opened up to the 5,000 letters between the artist and her husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The exhibition will include a display of Stieglitz’s photos which gives a glimpse into their lives and inner circle, with nudes of O’Keeffe and portraits of friends such as Marsden Hartley and John Marin.
• Georgia O’Keeffe, Tate Modern, London, 6 July-30 October; Kunstforum Wien, Vienna, 7 December-26 March 2017; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, summer 2017