Past Exhibitions

Illumination: Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce

Exhibition Through September 13, 2009


Illumination: The Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce was the first exhibition to bring together the work of these four important American women modernists. O’Keeffe (1887-1986) and Pelton (1881-1961) were born six years apart in the 1880s, while Martin (1912-2004) and Pierce (1918-2007) were born six years apart in the 1910s. All four drew on nature as their primary focus, inspired by arid and spare desert environments: O’Keeffe, Pierce and Martin, lived much of their lives in New Mexico, while Pelton resided in Cathedral City near Palm Springs, California. 

Through their keen “sense of place” they each developed vocabularies with varying degrees of abstraction, but the four artists share an interest in illumination and a desire to convey transcendence and spirituality in their paintings. 

The 192-page catalogue was co-published with Merrell Publishers.

"Offers some things that many of us desperately need in this hectic, fast-paced, crowded world – a sense of calm, of meditation, transcendence and wonder." 
- Orange County Register

Image credits:
Georgia O'Keeffe, Yellow Cactus, 1929; Oil on canvas; 30 x 42 in. (76.2 x 106.7 cm); Dallas Museum of Art, the Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, Bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith; © Dallas Museum of Art
Agnes Pelton, The Guide, 1929; Oil on canvas, 30½ x 20¼ inches; Collection of the Orange County Museum of Art; Museum purchase with funds provided through prior gift of Lois Outerbridge 
Florence Miller Pierce, Untitled (Orange Pure), 1994; Resin on plexiglass mirror; 24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm); Collection of Jayne D. Murrel, Newport Beach, California


Exhibition Credits

This exhibition was organized by Karen Moss, deputy director for exhibitions and programs, Orange County Museum of Art.


Major support for this exhibition was provided by Jayne Murrel, Pamela and James Muzzy, and Barbara and Victor L. Klein. 

Additional support was provided by Michael D. Ray.

The official media sponsors of the Orange County Museum of Art are:

The Orange County Register & KCRW 89.9 FM

 Additional support provided by OC Weekly.