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.
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.
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