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Agnes Pelton and Georgia OKeeffe:

The Window and the Wall


Michael Zakian

n 1929 Agnes Pelton painted Incarnation (fig. 39), an iconic image of a floating

red flower. It was created as a knowing and unusual response to the work of

her younger contemporary Georgia OKeeffe. Pelton had begun painting her
nature-based, transcendental abstractions only a few years earlierin the
winter of 1926while living in relative seclusion in a historic windmill in the
Hamptons.1 Her compositions arose from unconscious sources, usually from dreams
or meditative states that she referred to as waking visions. Not one to work in
series or produce variations on a theme, she conceived of each painting as a unique
embodiment of an independent mental image. Drawing inspiration from an interior
source, she almost never made paintings in conscious response to the work of
other artists.
OKeeffe had introduced her enlarged flowers to the public in a 1925 group
exhibition at the Anderson Galleries in New York, curated by Alfred Stieglitz.2 The
fact that Pelton responded quickly and so uncharacteristically to the art underscores
the curious and provocative parallels that ran through the two artists lives. Differing
in age by only six years, they moved in nearly overlapping circles, shared friends
(such as arts patron Mabel Dodge Luhan), and may have known of each other but
probably never met. Both studied with Arthur Wesley Dow and, for a short period
of time around 1920, both had studios in Manhattan.
Most notably, when both women were in middle age, they decided to leave
the East Coast and make the desert their home and source of creative inspiration.
In 1929 OKeeffe made her first trip to northern New Mexico. She would eventually
be hailed as an icon of American culture for her independent, pioneering spirit. In
January 1932 Pelton left New York and moved permanently to Cathedral City, a small
hamlet in the California desert just outside Palm Springs. For nearly thirty years,
until her death, she worked without accolade or fanfare, known only to small
Fig. 39
Agnes Pelton, Incarnation, 1929
Oil on canvas, 26 x 22 in. (66 x 55.9 cm)
Collection of LeighAnne Stainer, Freemont, California

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Fig. 40
Georgia OKeeffe
Lake George Window (Farmhouse
Window and Door), 1929
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art,
New York, Acquired through the
Richard D. Brixley Bequest

handfuls of admirers, including the much younger Florence Miller Pierce and her
colleagues in the Transcendental Painting Group in New Mexico.3 When Pelton died
in 1961, all but forgotten and unknown, her heirs were offered paintings from her
studio as keepsakes. No one chose her abstractions.4
In Peltons Incarnation, a disembodied red bloom radiates heat and light as it
floats in the center of a bright-yellow sky. Curtains on either side have just opened,
revealing a miraculous vision. At the bottom stand blue icebergs. For Pelton the
flower symbolized a life-giving force that descends from above, providing warmth
to the cold earth below. It is not simply a plant but a veritable sun. As with all her

was too concerned with external appearance. She complimented OKeeffe for
painting enlarged flowersthis way the soul of a flower can possess the whole
heart of one gazing at itbut criticized her for creating only a formal solution:
She sees first outside . . . then with charming effort makes a decorative canvas
of it.5
Pelton may not have been fair in emphasizing the decorative, but she
was correct to note that OKeeffe had an obsession with physical matter and
material form. As seen in Yellow Cactus (1929; fig. 59), OKeeffe conceived and
rendered her flowers as solid and massive, looming and confrontational. Filling the

abstractions, this painting is about process, becoming, and a vital, nurturing spirit

entire canvas, squeezing out excess space, these forms force themselves into

that animates all of reality.


As one might expect, Pelton was critical of OKeeffes flowers, which she
saw as one-dimensional, materialist, and decorative. In her journals from the time,

the face of the viewer. Even in an example of modest proportions, such as


Poppies (1926; fig. 8), the visual impact is bold, assertive, and uncompromising.
OKeeffes flowers exist as emphatic, organic matter, dominating and consuming

she recorded a rare comment on the work of another artist, noting that OKeeffe

space until they become one with the solid picture plane.

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Fig. 41
Georgia OKeeffe
Light Coming on the Plains III,
1917
Watercolor on newsprint
117/8 x 87/8 in. (30.1 x 22.5 cm)
Amon Carter Museum of Art,
Fort Worth, Texas

Fig. 42
Georgia OKeeffe
Music, Pink and Blue No. 2,
1918
Oil on canvas
35 x 291/8 in. (88.9 x 74 cm)
Whitney Museum of American
Art, New York, Gift of Emily Fisher
Landau in honor of Tom Armstrong

By contrast, Pelton thought of her paintings as views through a window


Like all her abstractions, Incarnation is conceived as a stage set and provides a
glimpse into a fictional space. When she had her first one-person exhibition of
abstractions at the Montross Gallery in New York City in November 1929, Pelton
explained, These pictures are like little windows, opening to the view of a region not
yet much visited consciously or by intentionan inner realm, rather than an outer
landscape.6 Through these windows Pelton imagines and creates entire worlds,
offering access to an ideal place just beyond our own. When OKeeffe depicted a
window that very year, in Lake George Window (Farmhouse Window and Door) (1929;
fig. 40), she focused on the solid architectural frame. Instead of showing the glass as
transparent, she rendered it as opaque, making it as dense and impenetrable as the
surrounding wall. The metaphor of the window and the wall provides an intriguing
foil for understanding the deeper relationships between Pelton and OKeeffe, artists
who shared biographical details but maintained distinct and diverging world views.
Fig. 43
Agnes Pelton, Meadowlarks Song, Winter, 1926
Oil on canvas, 25 x 20 in. (63.5 x 50.8 cm)
Collection of Maurine St. Gaudens, Pasadena, California

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slivers of color look like cuts or fissures within the flat plane of the paper. This
conception dominates her otherwise ethereal and transcendent Light Coming on the
Plains III (1917; fig. 41), which depicts the morning sun just before it breaks the
horizon.8 Although the image hints at sublime distance and natures powers of
transformation, OKeeffe frames the event within an abstract arch. The effect is one
of viewing the scene through a parabolic opening in an implied wall.
Pelton saw the world as too complex and multidimensional ever to be resolved
successfully into a single flat plane. One of her first abstractions is Meadowlarks
Song, Winter (1926; fig. 43), a recently rediscovered work that provides fruitful
comparison with OKeeffes Music, Pink and Blue No. 2.9 In this powerfully
synaesthetic painting, Pelton used spiraling vertical ribbons to depict the song of
a bird. These upright arabesques turn and twist dynamicallyan expansive,
generative force that enlivens the air and space around it.10 Blue sky appears broken
into a series of distinct arcs and facets. These breaks and discontinuitiesa spiritual
rethinking of formal Cubismrepresent differing forces, moments, or dimensions
of reality. More than just a painting of sound, this lush and luxuriant work conveys
the complex pulses and burgeoning energies that drive the natural world.

Time

Fig. 44
Georgia OKeeffe
Blue Lines X, 1916
Watercolor and graphite on paper
25 x 19 in. (63.5 x 48.3 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York, Alfred Stieglitz
Collection, 1969

Various critics have commented on the connection between OKeeffes


paintings and the wall. Carter Ratcliff noted that OKeeffe is an artist of surfaces.
Achille Bonito Oliva wrote that the strength of her work arises from the
constructive force of a sort of organic architecture.7 Although she broke with rigid,
rectilinear geometry by introducing gently cursive feminine and synaesthetic
shapes, her strongly tactile art celebrated external form and asserted the elemental
power of the critical two-dimensional picture plane.
An interest in walls and in solid planar surfaces runs throughout OKeeffes
career. Her first mature works were motivated by a desire to render the aural, the
fluid, and the organic, but the idea of the flat wall dominates. Early abstractions,

ecause Pelton conceived of her paintings as offering a window on to another


world, they involve time. As seen in Ecstasy (1928; fig. 68), she conveyed
time by depicting a process, such as growth or transformation. She explained
that this composition represents a yellow lily that had experienced a burst
of growth so vigorous and ecstatic that it could no longer support itself and had
begun to collapse and die.11 In one static image Pelton represents an entire span
of life and death, merging Sigmund Freuds opposing concepts of Eros and Thanatos
into a single composition that is celebratory as well as mournful.
Time and transformation are also the subjects of Wells of Jade (1931; fig. 35),
in which floating, balloonlike forms represent evaporating water vapor. On the left,
droplets have condensed on a smaller bubble and drip back into the pond or lake
below, symbolized by parallel bands of wavy horizontal lines. This painting
represents the entire cycle of water, from liquid to gas to liquid once again. In Future
(1941; fig. 12), Pelton depicts heavena time beyond mortal time on earth. Heavy
stone gates mark the passage beyond the physical world.12 Glowing rectangles of
colored light float in the sky, offering a comforting message that everyone has

of her formative years, such as Blue Lines X (1916; fig. 44), the thin and fragile

a place in paradise. Just as Ecstasy and Wells of Jade represent the life cycle of a
flower and water, respectively, Future represents the lifeand afterlifeof a human
being. For Pelton, time was a dynamic, cyclical process that is continually unfolding
and never ending.

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such as Music, Pink and Blue No. 2 (1918; fig. 42), use lyrical, rhythmic patterning
to convey musical sounds. But the even-handed dispersal of forms across the
painting suggests mere inflections within a dominant planar surface. In other works

While Pelton favored representing grand, epic sequences within one canvas,
OKeeffe painted only single moments in time. Her tendency was to freeze and
suspend time, turning the temporal into the eternal. In the mid- to late 1920s she
produced a series of works showing the skunk cabbage.13 Because it is the first to
appear after the winter, this plant is seen as a symbol of spring and the annual
renewal of life. Each work in the series captured a distinct stage in the life cycle. All
were conceived and rendered as separate moments in time. The six canvases in
OKeeffes Jack-in-Pulpit series (see No.1; fig. 60), produced in March 1930, represent
different approaches to treating artistic form, ranging from realism to almost pure
abstraction. Although the jack-in-the-pulpit plant has an intriguing life cycle
and bears bright-scarlet berries at the end of the season, OKeeffe gave prime
importance to formal and pictorial concerns, focusing on the ways one can make
this plant conform to the strict logic of the picture plane.

Aspiration

Keeffe was fascinated by novel formsby the innovative, modern forms


of avant-garde art as well as by the striking and inspiring shapes of the
modern, vertical city. From 1925 to 1929 she produced a series of New
York City landscapes that celebrated the impact and power of the
new, focusing on skyscrapers, as seen in City Night (fig. 45) and Shelton Hotel,
N.Y. No. 1, both from 1926.14 OKeeffe rendered her buildings as solid geometric slabs
and towering walls, climbing upward to reach new extremes of height. Adhering
to the ethos behind the 1920s search for the Great American Thing, she thought
of achievement in terms of worldly accomplishment and material monumentality.15
Pelton also addressed the theme of heights in the late 1920s but focused on
spiritual desire rather than physical achievement. The Guide (1929; fig. 46) is a
visionary, theatrical composition. An abstract scaffolding of arching lines represents
curtains that unfold in successive layers to reveal a solitary star, the otherworldly
messenger or guide promised in the title. The composition was inspired by Joseph

state of mystical freedom. The low, black, triangular hill on the horizon symbolizes
an earthly and negative dark, sharp mountain of striving.17 For Pelton, actual
sublimity took place in a spiritual realm, free from practical concerns. She embraced
and avidly followed an array of spiritual disciplines, ranging from Helena Blavatskys
theosophy to Agni Yoga, a more obscure doctrine advocated by the Russian migr
painter Nicholas Roerich. The title Illumination reflects her belief in a cosmic
consciousness, a source of a-rational insight that comes from a higher plane.18

Desert

he contrast between these two artists appears most pointedly in the desert
paintings that they produced after moving to the West. Peltons Sand Storm
(1932; fig. 71) is probably her first desert abstraction and features a sun that
has been obliterated by swirling gusts of sand. As she explained in her
notebooks, the storm is passing, and the air is beginning to clear.19 The sky responds
by sending forth a rainbow, a reassuring sign reflecting Peltons conviction that
the world is essentially good and benevolent. Although a sandstorm is harsh and
unpleasant, her interpretation is exuberant and optimistic. Even Peltons realist
desert landscapes, such as San Gorgonio in Spring (1932; fig. 10) and Seeds of Date
(1935; fig. 74), reflect her distinctive world view, for they focus on moments when
the desert is blooming, flourishing, and procreative.
OKeeffes Purple Hills (1935; fig. 11) is typical of her New Mexico paintings,
reflecting a very different sensibility. She took special delight in rendering the desert
as empty and arid. Her achievement was to perceive and capture a rare and delicate
beauty in the bleak and barren landscape, creased by stark, waterless arroyos. When
life is present, as in Part of the Cliffs (1937; fig. 62), it appears minimally, as a slight
band of green. As OKeeffe explained in 1939: A red hill doesnt touch everyones

Stellas depictions of the Brooklyn Bridge, painted over a period of twenty years,
but instead of celebrating human feats of engineering and technology, Pelton
focused on the star as a beacon of hope. In Illumination (1930; fig. 1), she painted

heart as it touches mine and I suppose there is no reason why it should. The red
hill is a piece of the badlands where even the grass is gone. Badlands roll away
outside my doorhill after hillred hills of apparently the same sort of earth that
you mix with oil to make paint. All the earth colors of the painters palette are out
there in the many miles of badlands.20
In earth-color pigments OKeeffe found a ready identity between her

not man-made skyscrapers but reaching, mountainous shapes that yearn to go


beyond the everyday world. By contrast, she identified the horizontal, sinuous
forms at the bottom of the composition as earthbound, lethargic, and negative. After

landscape subjects and the flat surface of her paintings. By using paint in a blunt,
dry, and matter-of-fact manner, she further mimicked the dryness of the scorched
land around her. Pelton preferred to enrich her paint with oil media. Working in

completing the painting, Pelton repainted and greatly enlarged the star in order to
emphasize a transcendental message.16

layers and with glazes, she created limpid, translucent, glowing surfaces. Whereas
OKeeffe made paintings with flat walls of dry, terse color, Pelton used paint in a
lush, sumptuous manner to reinforce the idea of a wondrous window revealing

Pelton developed this dualistic symbolism further in Orbits (1934; fig. 73),
which depicts Mount San Jacinto, the mountain above Palm Springs, floating in a

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fantastic scenes.

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Fig. 45
Georgia OKeeffe, City Night, 1926
Oil on canvas, 48 x 30 in. (121.9 x 76.2 cm)

Fig. 46
Agnes Pelton, The Guide, 1929
Oil on canvas, 301/2 x 201/4 in. (77.5 x 51.4 cm)

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Gift of Funds from the Regis Corporation, Mr. and Mrs. W. John Driscoll,
the Beim Foundation, the Larsen Fund, and by public subscription

Orange County Museum of Art,


Museum purchase with funds provided through prior gift of Lois Outerbridge

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OKeeffe preferred the desert when it was devoid of life. This aspect of her
sensibility is captured in remarks she made in 1939 about her interest in bones: To
me they are as beautiful as anything I know. To me they are strangely more living
than the animals walking around. . . . The bones seem to cut sharply to the center
of something that is keenly alive on the desert even tho it is vast and
empty and untouchableand knows no kindness with all its beauty.21 As seen in
such paintings as Goats Horn with Red (1945), or Pedernal From the Ranch I
(1956; fig. 65), which features a view through a pelvis, these spare yet sensuous,
organic shapes have considerable aesthetic appeal. But when OKeeffe declared her
preference for the desiccated, lifeless remains of animals to real living creatures, she
revealed herself as startlingly lacking in empathy. She was able to find great solace
in the vast and empty and untouchable forms of the arid desert probably because
there was something deep within herself that was equally empty and untouchable.
In contrast, Pelton was a wellspring of empathy. The credibility of her symbols
arose from her willingness to identify completely with her subjects. She not only
observed stars glowing silently in the night sky but also felt a powerful affinity with
them and believed that they shone for her. Her art arose directly from her belief in
human sympathy and compassionand stands as a polar opposite to the work of
OKeeffe, who celebrated the desert because it knows no kindness with all its beauty.

Vessels

eltons loving sensitivity and unembarrassed empathy are seen in a group


of paintings based on vessels, such as Star Gazer (1929; fig. 47), Even Song
(1934; fig. 48), and Memory (1937; fig. 76). In Star Gazer, a curious hybrid
symbol represents an opening flower bud tightly nestled within a small glass
vase. By conflating the natural and the man-made, Pelton asserts her faith that there
is a higher consciousness within the universe that protects and nurtures emerging
life. She identified the vessel in Even Song as a ceramic jar that had attained a state
of enlightenment and glows with inner illumination as it sends forth flowing waters.

Conclusion

n comparing the art of Agnes Pelton and Georgia OKeeffe, one cannot escape
the overwhelming differences in their personalities and perspectives. Pelton
was a shy, withdrawn, romantic spiritualist who preferred to dwell within the
ineffable mysteries of the human mind. OKeeffe, the pragmatic realist,
favored the hard, factual worlds of matter and culture. She deserves her
considerable fame and reputation as an archetypal American Modernist, who
grasped the achievements of advanced European painting in the opening decades
of the twentieth century and adapted these concepts to distinctly American subjects
and ideals. Employing imagery that was direct, uncomplicated, and accessible,
OKeeffe created a body of work that fused the soft and sensuous with the tough
and solid. In effecting this balance, she combined two essential currents within the
American characterthe hedonistic and the puritanicalin a way that has captured
the publics imagination and that offers a fascinating window into ourselves and
our culture.
Pelton, for her part, does not deserve the neglect of history. Her mode of
modern art does not fit into ready categories but provides a fascinating parallel and
alternative to the work of the Stieglitz circle.22 Perhaps it is accurate to say that she
was a modern painter who did not embrace Modernism. The rational, critical side
of Modernism tended to encourage pessimism, reductivism, and skepticism,
concepts foreign to her sensibility. Peltons art was based on opposing ideals of
optimism, exuberance, and beneficence. In the end, her deeply personal, visionary
paintings are highly eccentric but still belong to a grand tradition within American
culture. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson, she was a transcendentalist who perceived the
spirit within nature; like Henry David Thoreau, she was the staunch individualist
who chose a reclusive life in order to define the parameters of her own existence
and work. The paintings she left us continue to offer windows on to new and
unexpected worlds that deserve further exploration.

She remarked that this vessel was her own body, a clear association of natures
abundance with a feminine, procreative force. In Memory, a thin, narrow vase serves
as a conduit and repository for the experiences of a lifetime.
OKeeffe addressed the theme of vessels and organic life in Head with
Broken Pot (1943), one of a small series on the subject. Both skull (nature) and pot
(culture) are shattered, and the ceramic olla, shown from an angle that reveals none
of its aesthetic qualities, is incapable of providing comfort to the unfortunate
individual resting within it. Although this painting can be seen as a political
statement about the decimation of Native American culture, it is primarily an
expression of OKeeffes frank and unflinching acceptance of mortality.

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Fig. 47
Agnes Pelton, Star Gazer, 1929
Oil on canvas, 30 x 16 in. (76.2 x 40.6 cm)

Fig. 48
Agnes Pelton, Even Song, 1934
Oil on canvas, 36 x 22 in. (91.4 x 55.9 cm)

Private collection

Collection of LeighAnne Stainer, Fremont, California

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Notes
1. Agnes Pelton lived in the Hayground
Windmill in Water Mill, near Bridgehampton,
Long Island, New York, from October 1921
until the summer of 1931. For details about
the artists life, see Michael Zakian, Agnes
Pelton: Poet of Nature, exhib. cat. (Palm
Springs ca: Palm Springs Desert Museum,
1995). Her journals, notebooks, and
correspondence have been preserved as the
Agnes Pelton Papers 18811961, Archives of
American Art, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C., reels 342627.
2. Barbara Buhler Lynes, Georgia OKeeffe:
Catalogue Raisonn (New Haven ct: Yale
University Press; Washington, D.C.: National
Gallery of Art; Abiquiu nm: Georgia
OKeeffe Foundation, 1999), vol. 2, 1143.
3. Agnes Pelton and New Mexico Modernist
Raymond Jonson learned of each other in
1933 through the Modernist composer,
astrologer, and artist Dane Rudhyar. They
began a correspondence that lasted for
decades. When Jonson founded the
Transcendental Painting Group (TPG) in New
Mexico in 1938, Pelton was elected its first
honorary president. Pelton had journeyed
from New York to Taos in 1919 as a guest of
Mabel Dodge Luhan (then known as Mabel
Dodge Sterne)a full decade before
OKeeffes first visitbut most probably she
did not return to participate in the activities
of the TPG. Pelton never learned to drive.
During the height of the TPG she was nearly
sixty years old and did not like to travel,
especially over long distances. She stayed in
touch with Jonson and the TPG by post.
4. Nancy Strow Sheley, Bringing Light to Life:
The Art of Agnes Pelton (18811961) (PhD
diss., University of Kansas, 2000), 265.
5. Pelton, quoted in Zakian, Agnes Pelton, 53.
Sheley, Bringing Light to Life (95, n. 182),
comments that Peltons notebook attributes
these remarks to GMP, suggesting that
they may not be her own words. The
passage does refer to Pelton in the third
person, yet it is filled with the eccentric
terminology and syntax typical of her
own writing. Regardless of who first made
this observation, the fact that Pelton
repeated it without comment or correction
is a good indication that she agreed with
the sentiment.

6. Pelton, quoted in Zakian, Agnes Pelton, 53.


7. Carter Ratcliff, Georgia OKeeffe and the
Great American Thing, in Georgia OKeeffe,
ed. Bice Curiger (Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje
Cantz, 2003), 29; Achille Bonito Oliva, A
Constellation of Forms, in Richard Marshall,
Achille Bonito Oliva, and Yvonne Scott,
Georgia OKeeffe: Nature and Abstraction,
exhib. cat. (Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern
Art; Milan: Skira; Vancouver: Vancouver Art
Gallery, 2007), 27.
8. For a discussion of this series, see Judith
Zilczer, Light Coming on the Plains:
Georgia OKeeffes Sunrise Series, Artibus et
Historiae, no. 40 (1999): 191208.
9. This painting had not been located when
I organized Agnes Pelton: Poet of Nature
in 1995, and was not included in that
retrospective. It appeared on the Los
Angeles art market in early 2008.
10. Pelton identified with the upright arabesque
and in 1932 adopted the image of a spiraling
green flame over a white triangle above
darkness as her personal symbol. It draws
upon William Hogarths Line of Beauty, a
double inflected curve, but the analogy with
an illuminating flame conveys a higher
spiritual calling. See Zakian, Agnes Pelton, 73.
11. Ibid., 50, 53.
12. Pelton employed active symbols. Future
is filled with various symbols based on
processes that define steps on the journey
toward paradise. The orange zigzag line
hovering at the right represents the backand-forth movements of a weavers
shuttlecock and stands for the spiritual work
necessary to enter heaven. The dark
triangular shapes at the left edge and upperleft corner stand for the shutter of a camera,
which opens in a spiral to reveal a heavenly
vision. See ibid., 93.
13. Charles C. Eldredge, Skunk Cabbages,
Seasons, and Cycles, in Georgia OKeeffe:
Visions of the Sublime, ed. Joseph S.
Czestochowski (Memphis: Torch Press;
International Arts, 2004), 6373.
14. For discussions of OKeeffes New York
skyscraper paintings, see: Anna C. Chave,
Who Will Paint New York?: The Worlds
New Art Center and the Skyscraper
Paintings of Georgia OKeeffe, American Art
5 (WinterSpring 1991): 87107; and Vivien
Green Fryd, Georgia OKeeffes Radiator

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Building: Gender, Sexuality, Modernism,


and Urban Imagery, Winterthur Portfolio 35
(Winter 2000): 26989.
15. Wanda Corn, The Great American Thing:
Modern Art and National Identity, 19151935
(Berkeley ca: University of California Press,
1999). The phrase Great American Thing
was coined by Georgia OKeeffe to refer to
the desire among many artists and writers
in the 1920s and 1930s to create a new type
of art and literature that would
be distinctly and uniquely American.
16. Zakian, Agnes Pelton, 56, 111 n. 38.
17. Ibid., 73.
18. Pelton read and copied passages from
Richard Maurice Bucke, Cosmic
Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of
the Human Mind (Philadelphia: Innes &
Sons, 1901). Bucke was a Canadian doctor
who supervised a mental institution in
the years before Sigmund Freuds writings.
Fascinated by the workings of the mind,
he set out to understand human
psychology, not by probing negative
phenomena, such as neuroses, but

by focusing on its positive aspects,


specifically on peoples capacity to have
enlightened, mystical experiences.
19. Pelton, quoted in Zakian, Agnes Pelton, 70.
20. Georgia OKeeffe, About Myself, in
Georgia OKeeffe: Exhibition of Oils and
Pastels, exhib. cat. (New York: An American
Place, 1939), reprinted in Lynes, Catalogue
Raisonn, 1099.
21. Ibid.
22. Alfred Stieglitz (18641946) was a
photographer, publisher, and art dealer
who used his periodicals and galleries to
promote young American Modernist
painters. The artists in his circleincluding
Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, John Marin,
and Charles Demuth, in addition to
Stieglitzs wife, Georgia OKeeffeall
produced abstractions inspired by
nature. See Sarah Greenough, Modern Art
and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His
New York Galleries (Washington, D.C.:
National Gallery of Art; Boston:
Bulfinch Press, 2000).

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