University Museums

Title: D.H. Lawrence Tree
Name: Pastel
Date: 2011
Medium: Pastel on paper, framed
Dimensions: 60 × 40 × 1 in. (152.4 × 101.6 × 2.5 cm)
Classification: Drawings
Credit Line: Purchased by University Museums. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Knoll
Object Number: UM2015.90
More Information
"In 1929, artist Georgia O'Keeffe painted a nighttime picture of an impressive Ponderosa tree she found on the property where novelist D. H. Lawrence had lived in New Mexico, in 1924 and 1925. She called it The D. H. Lawrence Tree, and it became notable for having been hung upside down for decades until it was discovered by researchers. O'Keeffe meant for the painting to be viewed as if she was lying underneath it with her head against the trunk, looking skyward.

When I created my version of the D. H. Lawrence Tree I wanted to first experience the tree exactly as O'Keeffe did, by lying with my head against the tree. I spent several hours under the huge tree, gazing up at the kaleidoscope of twisted branches and frenetic patterns. Over three years of painstakingly drawing the "D. H. Lawrence Tree," the series was complete with eleven paintings." - Ellen Wagener