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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 25 February 2022

Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale Presents Georgia O’Keeffe’s A Sunflower From Maggie

PROPERTY FROM THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON

GEORGIA O'KEEFFE (1887-1986)

A Sunflower from Maggie

oil on canvas

16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm.)

Painted in 1937.

$6,000,000-8,000,000

New York – Christie's announces Georgia O’Keeffe’s A Sunflower from Maggie (1937), will be a featured highlight in the 20th Century Art Evening Sale taking place this May in New York. The painting was deaccessioned from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA); it will be sold to benefit acquisitions for the Museum (estimate: $6 million - $8 million).

Emily Kaplan, Christie’s Specialist and Co-Head of 20th Century Evening Sale, remarks, “It is an honor to partner with the MFA on the sale of Georgia O’Keeffe’s A Sunflower from Maggie to benefit acquisitions for the Museum. A truly iconic image from one of the finest 20th century American modernists, this work is a leading example of American painting of the pre-war era. While flowers are a classic signature of the artist’s oeuvre, sunflower canvases by O’Keeffe are in fact quite rare; this stands as one of just six sunflower paintings she made in her lifetime. We are proud to offer it at Christie’s this Spring to support the Museum’s ongoing initiative to diversify and expand the development of its collection.”

Tylee Abbott, Christie’s Specialist and Head of Department, American Art, remarks, “Beyond the steeped history of this compelling subject, and its rarity within O’Keeffe’s oeuvre, A Sunflower from Maggie represents everything that one looks for in a masterwork by the artist—representational at first glance, yet incredibly nuanced and complex in her distinctive manner.  Directed by the petals, the mesmerizing central oculus of the sunflower invites the viewer deep into the painting, allowing one to completely lose themselves in the work.  It is precisely this type of experience and its universal appeal that has launched O’Keeffe on to the international stage and established her in the annals of art history.”

Samantha Koslow, Christie’s Director, Museums, Institutions and Corporate Collections, remarks, “It is an honor to partner with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston to help support the funding future acquisitions. Museums are our most important cultural partners and we are grateful for the opportunity to help support the Museum's goals."

Georgia O’Keeffe has become a pervasive figure in the history of American art. With a career spanning well over half a century, she is known for her large-scale abstract modernist paintings as well as her trademark floral iconography and desert motifs. A Sunflower from Maggie displays all of the characteristics of her most coveted artworks. The Maggie referenced in the title refers to Margaret Johnson, friend and neighbor to O’Keeffe in New Mexico, and wife to the President of Johnson & Johnson. A Sunflower from Maggie has been exhibited widely in renowned institutions most recently including the North Carolina Museum of Art (2012).

In addition to A Sunflower from Maggie, Christie’s will offer O’Keeffe’s southwestern landscape Abiquiu Trees VII on behalf of the MFA in the 18 May 2022 American Art sale (estimate: $700,000-1,000,000). This painting will also be sold to benefit acquisitions for the Museum.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.