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Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Georgia O’Keefe in the Adirondacks

A painting of Lake George in the Adirondacks by Georgia O'Keefe
A painting of Lake George in the Adirondacks by Georgia O’Keefe

At first glimpse, Lake George’s narrow width could be mistaken for a long rambling river. It’s not until you veer downhill from the honky-tonk shops and hotels of Route 9N to the docks below that you appreciate the grandeur of this body of water. Step foot into a sailboat, like my family has done for the past 35 summers, and the narrow passage becomes an immense lake dotted with pine-studded islands and shadowed on either side by the verdant mountains of the southern Adirondacks.

The cool waters and green hills that serve as solace and repose for me have been a source of inspiration to many artists over the years including the early American Luminists of the 1850s, sculptor David Smith, and most notably, Alfred Stieglitz and his wife, Georgia O’Keeffe. This June, The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York will unveil a blockbuster summer exhibition featuring 58 paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe. “Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George,” organized by The Hyde Collection in association with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will explore the influence that living and working in Lake George, New York had on the art and life of the famous American painter.
O’Keeffe’s art was introduced to Stieglitz on his fifty-second birthday, January 1, 1916.  By the summer of 1918, they were involved in one of the most sensual and artistically symbiotic relationships in the modern era. For the next 16 years, she would spend a good portion of her summer in Lake George with the man she would eventually marry in 1924.  The romance with Georgia O’Keeffe drove Stieglitz into a picture-taking frenzy.  O’Keeffe’s sexually evocative flowers and leaves filled her canvases while every inch of her body filled the lens of Stieglitz’ camera.
steve  Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.
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