Dark Tree Trunks
The V-form is a recurring motif in O’Keeffe’s art and in her wardrobe. In this painting, she has pushed the composition in the direction of abstraction by cropping the tree forms abruptly at the canvas’s edge, bringing focus to the V formed by the converging tree trunks. This V, painted in New Mexico a few months after Stieglitz’s death, may also be endowed with personal meaning. The two sets of bare tree trunks, rooted to each other in the ground but grown apart, may be a subtle reference to her partnership with Stieglitz, frayed by the end of his life because of his attentions to another woman.
This painting can be seen hanging in O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch studio in the 1948 short film by Henwar Rodakiewicz, Land of Enchantment: Southwest U.S.A, on view nearby.
Oil on canvas
40 x 30in. (101.6 x 76.2cm)
frame: 40 1/4 x 30 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (102.2 x 76.8 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Inscriptions on backing:
1. "Dark Tree Trunks 1950 [crossed out] 1946 (crossing out and '1946' inscribed by Doris Bry, black ink) / Oil/ 40 x 30 / Canvas / Baker 5837" (OKR, black ink)
2. "Dark Tree Trunks. / 1946 1950 [crossed out], 40 x 30 / Georgia O'Keeffe" (inscribed by Doris Bry, black ink)
3. "Spray Keck" (inscribed by Doris Bry, graphite)
This item is not on view
Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe
copyright transferred to Brooklyn Museum, 2006
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email email@example.com
and we will assist if we can.
Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986). Dark Tree Trunks, 1946. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30in. (101.6 x 76.2cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe, 87.136.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 87.136.1_SL1.jpg)
overall, 87.136.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.