Just Above Sunset
March 29, 2006 - Georgia O'Keeffe

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Calla Lily - Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden


Were those paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe provocative in some Freudian way? If a cigar is sometimes only a cigar, then a calla lily is sometimes only a calla lily.

See Georgia O'Keefe and the Calla Lily in American Art, 1860-1940, Barbara Buhler Lynes, Yale University Press (October 1, 2002) ISBN: 0300097387 –


During the second half of the nineteenth century, the exotic South African calla lily was introduced in the United States, and it began to appear as a subject in American art. The flower became even more popular with artists after Freud provided a sexual interpretation of its form that added new levels of meaning to depictions of it. The calla lily soon became a recurring motif in works by important painters and photographers, particularly Georgia O'Keeffe, who depicted the flower so many times and in such provocative ways that by the early 1930s she became known as "the lady of the lilies."


See the Georgia O'Keeffe images from the National Gallery of Art here, or those from the O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe here.

Let's see.

Specimens at the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden on the UCLA campus, photographed Friday, March 24, 2006. Note, Georgia O'Keeffe was married to the photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

Calla Lily - Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

Also in the manner of Georgia O'Keeffe...

Specimen - Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.  

There is a copyright notice at the bottom of this page, of course.

These were shot with a Nikon D70 – lens AF-5 Nikor 18-70mm 1:35-4.5G ED

They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
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