Artist Georgia O’Keeffe spent three months in Hawaii during 1939 while on assignment for the Dole Pineapple Co. She was tasked with producing two paintings for a national advertising campaign.
While in the Islands, O’Keeffe produced 20 paintings of tropical plants, verdant landscapes and the blue-green sea. During a two-week stay on Maui, 12-year-old Patricia Jennings, the daughter of a Hana sugar plantation manager, served as a guide for the 51-year-old artist. Jennings, now 85 and a Big Island resident, recounts the pair’s Maui adventures in Hana and Wailuku in a recently released book, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii. Co-author Maria Ausherman is an educator and art writer in New York.
Jennings will give a free talk about her days with O’Keeffe and her lasting impressions of the artist at 3 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 25 at the Plantation Guest House, above Hana Ranch Store. The event is hosted by Travaasa Hana ad Ala Kukui/Hana Retreat.
The Honolulu Academy of Arts owns five of O’Keeffe’s 20 Hawaii-inspired works. And how did Dole Pineapple fare? O’Keeffe reportedly did not paint a single pineapple while in the Islands. After returning to the mainland, though, she painted a Dole-delivered pineapple in New York.
For more information about Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii, click here.
Image: book cover design by Lisa Carta