Jimson Weed, 1936 by Georgia O'Keeffe

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment," Georgia O'Keeffe once said. "I want to give that world to someone else." Throughout her long career that is just what she did, often rendering a flower or even a weed around her house in Abiquiu, N.M., in extreme close-up, so realistically and with such precision that they have a highly tactile quality. And flowers are what people associate Georgia O'Keeffe with most.

In 1936, cosmetics executive Elizabeth Arden commissioned O'Keeffe to paint Jimson Weed to hang in the exercise room of the new Arden Sport Salon in New York. The result was the largest of O'Keeffe's flower paintings. The artist placed the four blossoms in an exuberant design that repeats the tight rhythm of the pinwheel-shaped plant. She emphasized her subject's fresh beauty with a light, restricted palette.