From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection Opens September 25, 2015 at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum


The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum reveals its latest exhibition, From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection, an exhibition organized by Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Oklahoma in cooperation with The Vilcek Foundation New York, opening Friday, September 25th, 2015. With more than 60 works, the exhibition represents one of the country’s finest collections of American modernism from the period 1910’s to the Post-war era.

From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks from the Vilcek Foundation Collection captures the unique perspectives of the American modernism movement and provides insight into a group of artists defining American abstraction. Organized by the Chief Curator and Curator of American Art at the Philbrook Museum, Catherine Whitney, in cooperation with The Vilcek Foundation, New York City, this is the first time many of these noted Modernist works have been accessible to the public. Jan and Marica Vilcek, both immigrants to the United States from former Czechoslovakia, became interested in American modernism due in part to Marica’s art history career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Jan Vilcek’s interest in collecting, and a shared desire to give back to the country that gave them so much as new immigrants.

The Vilcek Collection reunites three of four most important still lifes by Stuart Davis—painted in 1922. The painter was responsible for the Vilcek’s initial foray into American modernism; when in 1990, they purchased a work by Davis entitled Tree (1921) on a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Vilceks credit this acquisition with their “firm, yet not always easy,” commitment to Modernism.

The exhibition, which comprises paintings, sculptures and works-on-paper divides the collection into four parts. The first section, “Nature” includes the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and Max Weber — the first generation of abstract artists to translate the transcendent qualities of nature into metaphors of color, geometry and line.

The second section of the exhibition, “Cubism” explores the aesthetics and philosophical constructs of Cubism as applied to American subjects. Highlights include the aforementioned Stuart Davis still lifes: Still Life with Dial, Still Life, Brown, and Still Life, Red, which the artist described as “rigorously…American.”

Town and Country” the exhibition’s third section, examines modernist views of structure, industrialization and architecture. Rockefeller Center (1939) by painter Ralston Crawford evidences the construction of Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Finally “The Southwest” recognizes the importance of this region as the inspiration for many of the artworks in the collection. Nearly one third of the Vilcek collection’s paintings were painted in New Mexico. In the period after World War I, many New York artists spent time in New Mexico experiencing the landscape, investigating spiritualism, and taking up residence at the Mabel Dodge Luhan art and writer’s colony in Taos.

The Vilcek Collection is one of the finest collections of American modernism ever gathered. It explores the emergence of America’s first truly homegrown, avant-garde art movement. We are pleased to feature this important exhibition that explores a generation of abstract artists who truly made the 20th century an American century,” said Cody Hartley, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks from the Vilcek Foundation Collection is on view through January 10, 2016 at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Also on view from September 25, 2015 to January 10, 2016, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is pleased to present David Bradley After Georgia O’Keeffe. Rife with sly references to O’Keeffe’s art and life, David Bradley’s painting O’Keeffe, after Whistler (2007) is on loan from the Denver Art Museum, to be shown with works from the permanent collection that inspired this ironic homage.

The neighboring New Mexico Museum of Art celebrates: The Fall of Modernism: A Season of American Art, supported by two exhibitions: The New Mexico Museum of Art presents O’Keeffe in Process and An American Modernism. O’Keeffe In Process is on view from September 11, 2015—January 17, 2016. An American Modernism opens October 2, 2015 through February 21, 2016.

To inspire all current and future generations, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum preserves, presents and advances the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe and modernism through innovative public engagement, education, and research. Opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1997, the Museum counts O’Keeffe’s two New Mexico homes as part of its extended collection. The Museum’s collections, exhibitions, research center, publications and educational programs contribute to scholarly discourse and serve a diverse audience. For more information, please visit

The Museum partnership offers joint ticketing, allowing visitors to see both exhibitions for a single price.


Out-of-state visitors: $18

New Mexico residents: $12

Museums Members of each respective museum: Free

Museum members can visit the partner museum for a reduced rate:

In-state O’Keeffe Museum members can visit the Museum of Art for $5; Out-of-state Museum members for $8

Foundation members can visit the O’Keeffe: $7; Out-of-state members for $10

In addition, joint ticket holders will receive a 10% discount in each museum store.

Tickets can be purchased at either the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum or the New Mexico Museum of Art.