“Hogan-Minded”: Race and Place in Georgia O’Keeffe’s Southwest

Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, 1994, oil on canvas. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

This Thursday at the KIA: a talk by Art History Professor James Denison!

Thursday, April 11, 6:00 – 7:00pm | Kalamazoo Institute of Arts | 314 S Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007

A native of the DC area and a graduate of Bowdoin College, James Denison recently completed his PhD in Art History at the University of Michigan. During the summer of 2023, he joined the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Kalamazoo College as the Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow.

In a talk drawing on his dissertation research, Denison will argue that past interpretations of Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexican paintings have obscured her engagement with Southwestern Indigenous cultures. He will highlight the influence of tourist contexts and period racial thinking on her work, describing how it relied upon and perpetuated romantic stereotypes about those cultures circulating within interwar New Mexico and the Manhattan avant-garde. Ultimately, her paintings and writings make clear that she saw the region much as countless others had before: as both deeply informed by the presence and history of its Native peoples and as open, empty, and ripe for claiming.

This ARTful Evening is presented jointly by the KIA and Kalamazoo College. The lecture is free to attend, but preregistration is encouraged!