The Wayback Machine: Designs Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe

Image courtesy of The Peabody Essex Museum, photo by Bob Packert

I’m honored to be part of the upcoming Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum. Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style runs from December 16, 2017 to April 1, 2018. I am thrilled that I was asked to design five pieces connected to the exhibit for sale in the PEM Store. 


This exhibit originated at the Brooklyn Museum, and is curated by fellow Cape Cod resident Wanda M. Corn. She was the first female chair of Stanford’s Department of Art.



Georgia O’Keeffe was a fiercely independent woman, in both her art and her life. She was driven to create, and she wasn’t going to bend to anyone else’s ideas of who she should be to deny who she was. This exhibit is unique in that it reveals her clothing choices in context with her paintings. The exhibit shows the evolution of her personal  style in tandem with the growth of her art. It features textiles, photographs, and paintings.


I was delighted when Lynn Francis Lunn of PEM asked me to look at the show catalogue. I’ve worked with her on product development before, for the Iris Apfel exhibit, and we are working on the upcoming Empresses of China exhibit. We looked through the photos of O’Keeffe’s original clothing and came up with five items inspired by her wardrobe.

Image courtesy of The Peabody Essex Museum, photo by Bob Packert


O’Keeffe’s clothing had a spare style that work well in contemporary fashion. That made it easier to come up with relatable pieces inspired by what she wore that looks good today.






We didn’t do an exact copy of any piece. We made subtle changes in the design. Georgia O’Keeffe’s actual clothes inspired these pieces and honor her sense of style. We knew from the Brooklyn Museum that the wrap dress was the number 1 in sales. It’s wearable and translates best to the contemporary look. The pieces will be available in the PEM store  for the life of the exhibit.


Display in the PEM Store window



I’ve visited the museum in New Mexico. My husband, Peter O’Keeffe, is related to her. So getting to work on this exhibit was both fun and interesting. I’m proud I was asked to make these items.


I’m going to the opening reception — I’ll be sure to post photos from it and an update on the exhibit in the coming weeks!

Image courtesy of The Peabody Essex Museum, photo by Bob Packert