Originally posted in The New York Times.
If you are a casual fan of Georgia O’Keeffe, you probably think of New Mexico when you think of her. After all, she lived there for decades and avidly explored the landscape in her work and her life, collecting stones and bones and accolades as one of America’s most celebrated painters.
But long before O’Keeffe embedded in the desert, her life included a period in the considerably lusher climes of upstate New York, on Lake George, the glacial Adirondack lake near here where she spent a series of summers — creating scores of paintings — while staying with Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer, art promoter and her eventual husband, whose family kept a small estate there.
Now, for the first time, some five-dozen of those creations have been brought together in an exhibition — “Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George” — at the Hyde Collection, a tiny museum in this modest, well-kept city of about 15,000, an hour north of Albany.
And in an impressive display of upstate pride, the Hyde exhibition, which opened here in June, has already set…