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An abstract oil painting in red and pink.

The painting shows undulating, elongated forms, with rounded ends that rise from the bottom of the picture plane at various lengths. The background is predominantly shades of pink from a deep rose to very faintly tinged. The shapes are both smaller in lighter shades of orange red, and in long, larger forms with rounded ends of dark red fading to lighter shades of orange red near the bottom of the canvas.

Gallery Text

O’Keeffe created Red and Pink on commission for the Cheney Brothers Silk Manufacturing Company, the largest American producer of the fabric in the 1920s. The painting was reproduced in advertisements for the colorful textile designs the company was introducing in the fall of 1926. The artist achieved abstraction by enlarging and cropping the cascading petals of a flower beyond recognition, in a manner that recalls the close-up techniques of modernist photography. It was an approach she also employed in her iconic large-scale paintings of plants, flowers, and natural phenomena of the American southwest. The vibrant undulating forms insinuate a wide range of organic structures: from the anatomy of flora, to the composition of flames, to the sanguine recesses of the body.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Georgia O'Keeffe, American (Sun Prairie, WI 1887 - 1986 Santa Fe, NM)
Red and Pink
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1310, Modern and Contemporary Art, Surrealism
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
40.6 x 31.8 cm (16 x 12 1/2 in.)
framed: 61.2 x 52.5 x 4 cm (24 1/8 x 20 11/16 x 1 9/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Georgia O'Keeffe, sold; to Doris Bry, New York 1977. Private Collector, Hawaii. [Sotheby's, New York, 30 November 2005, lot 102], sold. [David Findlay, Jr., Inc., New York, New York]; sold; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2006.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Dr. Ernest G. Stillman, Class of 1907, by exchange
© The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Charles C. Eldredge, Georgia O'Keeffe: American and Modern (New Haven, 1993), pl. 43
  • Barbara Buhler Lynes, Georgia O'Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonne (New Haven, CT, 1999), p. 267, no. 480 in Vol. I, ill.
  • Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 201, ill.
  • Barbara Haskell, ed., Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, 2009), p. 97, ill., 230.
  • Wanda M. Corn, Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern, exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum and DelMonico Books Prestel (Brooklyn, NY, 2017), pp. 112-113, fig. 105, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

  • Re-View: S118 European & American Art since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/13/2008 - 04/09/2011
  • O'Keeffe and Abstraction, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 09/17/2009 - 01/17/2010; The Phillips Collection, Washington, 02/06/2010 - 05/09/2010; Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, 05/28/2010 - 09/12/2010
  • Re-View: European and American Art Since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/03/2011 - 06/01/2013
  • 32Q: 1310 Surrealism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Iconic Works
  • Collection Highlights

Verification Level

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