museum of asian art

Chinese hair ornament, thought to have been worn by the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908).  Made from gilded copper alloy worked into phoenix-shapes, decorated with pearls, other gemstones, and kingfisher feathers.  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.

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From her twenties until the end of her life, O’Keeffe studied and admired various aspects of Asian culture. Many of her abstracted landscapes, such as this bird’s eye view of a river, show her interest in the calligraphic line and flattened perspective of Japanese and Chinese painting. // Posing for the photographer Bruce Weber in 1984, O’Keeffe fused Eastern and Western influences by pairing a kimono with a vaquero hat. The swirl of her “GOK” brooch, designed by her friend Alexander Calder, echoes the larger form of her own sculpture behind her. // This kimono, a padded men’s garment in striped gray silk with a black collar, suited her lifelong taste for clothing that was practical, androgynous, and monochromatic, while also reflecting her fascination with Asian culture.

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