Visions of Hawaii combines the work of artist Georgia O’Keeffe with the lush tropical flora of the Hawaiian islands. O’Keeffe spent nine weeks in Hawaii in 1939 while on an assignment for Dole to paint a picture of a pineapple.
While there, she completed 20 paintings inspired by the plants and landscapes of the islands. There’s a pineapple painting, but also paintings of ginger, heliconia, and of course, hibiscus, alongside landscapes of the rocky shore and green mountains.
Of the 20 paintings O’Keefe created, all but two are on display at the New York Botanical Garden this summer. The exhibit also has sketches and photos of O’Keeffe’s journey and a video with a voiceover by Sigourney Weaver of O’Keeffe’s letters to Alfred Stieglitz, her sometimeshusband.
In the conservatory, tropical plants have taken over. Gardenias and jasmine scent the steamy air, and hundreds of rare, indigenous, and non-native (but still iconic, like the pineapple) plants are on display.
Since the show extends for the whole summer, the flora will be ever-evolving as plants bloom and grow. Expect to see frangipani, breadfruit, and orchids—the staple botanical garden crowd pleaser.
The Hawaiian theme has permeated every aspect of the NYBG from the gift shop (where you’ll find Hawaiian shirts for sale) to the food offerings (there’s a poke food truck parked on premises). Throughout the summer, themed events are planned, like Aloha Nights with live music and hula dancing, or artisan demonstrations like lei making and block printing.
Visions of Hawaii runs from now until October 28 at the New York Botanical Garden.