Georgia O'Keeffe. Gerald's Tree I, 1937. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 1/8 inches. Georgia O'Keeffe Museum (Santa Fe), Gift of The Burnett Foundation. © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. [1997.6.35]
Brown and grey three pronged dead tree branching out across the vertical canvas against a reddish-orange earth background. Little tufts of green are scattered on the ground around the base of the tree.
O’Keeffe met Irish author Gerald Heard in 1937, after he traveled to New Mexico to visit Frieda Lawrence— British author D. H. Lawrence’s widow—and eventually she invited him to stay at her property in Ghost Ranch. The name of this painting, Gerald’s Tree, is evocative of that stay and captures the dead juniper tree, also commonly referred to as a cedar in New Mexico, under which O’Keeffe discovered his footprints. As O’Keeffe later wrote: “I guessed that he must have been dancing around the tree before I started to paint it. So I always thought of it as Gerald’s tree.”
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