Hibiscus with Plumeria

Media - 2004.30.6 - SAAM-2004.30.6_2 - 96008
Copied Georgia O'Keeffe, Hibiscus with Plumeria, 1939, oil on canvas, 4030 in. (101.676.2 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Sam Rose and Julie Walters, 2004.30.6

Artwork Details

Hibiscus with Plumeria
4030 in. (101.676.2 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Sam Rose and Julie Walters
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Object — flower — hibiscus
  • Object — flower — plumeria
Object Number

Artwork Description

Intrigued by the opportunity to paint tropical flora, Georgia O'Keeffe accepted an offer from the Dole Pineapple Company for an all-expenses paid trip to the state of Hawaii to create a painting for the company's 1939 advertising campaign. She visited Maui, O'ahu, Hawai'i, and Kaua'i, painting the islands' dramatic gorges, waterfalls, and tropical flowers, among them Hibiscus with Plumeria. Pink and yellow petals towering against a clear blue sky transform the delicate blossoms into a joyous monumentality. But of the twenty canvases of Hawaii she completed, none showed a pineapple. Only after Dole had one flown to New York did she finally, if reluctantly, paint the desired fruit.

Related Books

Crosscurrents: Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection
In eighty-eight striking paintings and sculptures, Crosscurrents captures modernism as it moved from early abstractions by O’Keeffe, to Picasso and Pollock in midcentury, to pop riffs on contemporary culture by Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, and Tom Wesselmann—all illustrating the complexity and energy of a distinctly American modernism.