An interview with the Head of Conservation at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, New Mexico

Dale Kronkright Interview (1)

Learn about Georgia O’Keeffe’s studio practice and her connection to Winsor & Newton materials in our fascinating interview with Dale Kronkright, Head of Conservation at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in New Mexico.

Kronkright is a foremost scholar of O’Keeffe and how she worked. Over the course of a few conversations with him as her touring retrospective was preparing to open in Madrid, we learned about O’Keeffe’s process, her tools, and the way she hoped that we would all experience her work.

Watch the video below to learn more about this trailblazing American artist.

 

 

Kronkright explained that thanks to the science of transmitted and reflected infrared light, it is possible to see the drawing O’Keeffe started with when she began a painting. Interestingly, not much was left to chance. Modern technology tells us her process was planned rather than intuitive because she followed her initial intentions closely.

We also learned that tools were critical to her practice. She cut her brushes into unique shapes so the bristles had just the angle she wanted, and she organised all her studio materials methodically so she could focus on her work without distraction.

Consistent, high-quality materials were also part of her commitment to her art practice: she realised early on that good materials were essential, and she always bought the best she could afford. In 1918 her future husband, the world-famous photographer Alfred Steiglitz, gave her a half-pan box of watercolours by Winsor & Newton; from that point on, she was a lifetime user of Winsor & Newton art materials.

As far as how she wanted people to experience her work, Kronkright said that she wanted the viewer to “see with your eyes and not with your expectations”. That is something to keep in mind when looking at any work of art.

Winsor & Newton was proud to support the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition when it opened at the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid. The show then moved on to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and is opening at its final stop this month at the Foundation Beyeler, in Basel, where it will run from January 23 to May 22, 2022.