The Green Apple

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"The Green Apple", formerly Green Apple on a Black Plate, is a small painting in the permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art. The oil on canvas, 14 1/8" x 12 1/8", was painted in 1922 by Georgia O'Keeffe.

The simple composition of a green apple on the edge of a black plate conveys a modernist perspective of a homely object. It's reductive realism exemplifies her statement published in the New York Sun the same year, that, "It is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things." O'Keeffe painted "The Green Apple" at a studio she kept at Lake George, New York. She spent extended summers there from 1918 to 1934 as a guest of her patron and, later, husband, Alfred Stieglitz.

Stieglitz sold the painting to Harold Greengard, a close friend of photographer Paul Strand, in 1923. It was inherited by his son, Frederick Grayson. The Museum purchased it from him in 1983, through dealer Doris Bry, applying funds raised from the 1981 and 1982 Museum Balls and a matching gift from Mr and Mrs Jack McSpadden.

"The Green Apple" is displayed in the American Art Galleries at the museum.


  • Crawford, Katelyn (March 27, 2020) "The Green Apple". Work of the Week. Birmingham Museum of Art - accessed March 30, 2020

External links