Photographer Alfred Stieglitz' (1864-1946) New York City gallery, 291, was the first American venue to showcase works by European Modernists such as Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso, Brancusi, Toulouse-Lautrec and many others. Though 291 existed as a gallery only from ca. 1904-1917, it gained lasting legendary status as an artistic gathering place during those thirteen years, and left Stieglitz with an extraordinary collection of artist and collector friends.
During the years between the two World Wars, a handful of these artists came to be known as the Stieglitz Circle - notably Arthur Dove (1880-1946), Marsden Hartley (1887-1943), John Marin (1870-1953) and Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986; married Stieglitz in 1924). All were avant-garde, American and primarily painted landscapes to varying degrees of Modernist abstraction. That they could not have found a more tireless promoter than Alfred Stieglitz is evidenced by the fact that we know well these artists' names today.
Natural Moderns: Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Contemporaries is a one-room special exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum focusing on works by O'Keeffe, Marin, Hartley and Dove painted between the years 1926 and 1946. The exhibition is drawn exclusively from the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Its founder, Duncan Phillips (1886-1966), was the single greatest patron and collector of the Stieglitz Circle. He supported both Marin and Dove with stipends during the Great Depression and orchestrated the Collection's becoming the first museum to buy an O'Keeffe, present a one-man museum show of Marin's work and to mount retrospectives of Dove and Hartley.
"Natural Moderns: Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Contemporaries" is on view from August 12, 2006 through January 14, 2007 at the Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Telephone: 513.639.2995). The art museum is open each Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with hours extended until 9:00 PM on Wednesdays. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is free to the public.