Curatorial Lecture Series: Theresa Papanikolas: Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams as Commercial Artists: Authenticity and Fantasy in Constructing the Allure of the Islands
Wednesday May 29 04:00 PM
Doris Duke Theatre
About the Lecture:
As established artists of considerable renown, Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams both traveled to Hawai‘i. O’Keeffe landed in Honolulu in 1939 and toured O‘ahu and the neighbor islands as the guest of the advertising firm N. W. Ayer and Son, tasked with the creation of paintings for use in print advertisements for the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now the Dole Company). Adams made the voyage nearly a decade later on a Guggenheim Fellowship to photograph Hawai‘i’s natural wonders for a series on America’s national parks, and he returned repeatedly in 1957 and 1958 to collaborate on a commemorative volume for Bishop National Bank of Hawaii (now First Hawaiian Bank). Although their sojourns are separated by several years, Adams and O’Keeffe are among the first artists of national stature to visit Hawai‘i on local commissions, and both aimed to unmask what lay beyond the beaches of Waikīkī to give form to the entirety of what they discovered in the Islands. The intersections between their commercial work—both in Honolulu and elsewhere—with America’s lively consumer culture in the mid-20th century is the focus of this lecture.
This lecture will prep you for the upcoming exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawai‘i Pictures, opening July 18.
Theresa Papanikolas is the Curator of European and American Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art. She received her BA in Art History from the University of Southern California, and her MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware. Prior to joining the Museum, Theresa was the Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and she has held curatorial and academic positions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Rice University. At the Honolulu Museum, she is curator of the major exhibitions From Whistler to Warhol: Modernism on Paper, Exquisitely Modern: 50 Works from Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, and the recent reinstallation of the European and American galleries. She is also curator of the forthcoming exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawai‘i Pictures, opening July 18, and author of its catalogue.