Starlight Night, Lake George, 1922.

The S. F. Chronicle gave the deYoung show, Modern Nature:Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George a so, so review calling it a “pleasing but hardly stirring exhibition.”

I went last week, almost thinking that I had probably seen most of the paintings and would just be revisiting them.  The banners posted around the city reminding us of the show – Petunias, 1925 – indicated as much.  I was wrong.  It’s a thoughtful, delightfully mesmerizing show filled with paintings I had never seen and some wonderful photographs by Alfred Stieglitz whose family owned the property and who O’Keeffe married in 1924.

I also recommend seeing it in concert with  Shaping Abstraction show on the first floor because it demonstrates how early O’Keeffe – was playing with abstraction.

Like Paul Cézanne’s late 19th Century studies of  Mont Sainte-Victoire in southern France, O’Keeffe looked hard at the trees, flowers and  landscape of Lake George. O’Keeffe  either visited or lived for part of the year there between 1919 and 1934.  On those visits, she  walked, painted and saw what others had never seen.

The show closes in mid-May, and I would definitely get there before it does.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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