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Shell and Old Shingle VI

Georgia O'Keeffe, American, 1887–1986
Oil on canvas
Made in
Lake George, New York, United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 334
30 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (76.8 x 46.4 cm)
framed: 31 1/8 x 19 1/4 x 2 1/8 in. (79.1 x 48.9 x 5.4 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles E. Claggett in memory of Blanche Fischel Claggett
© 2020 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Object Number
A study in tone and form, this painting’s abstract shapes barely suggest the white shell in front of a gray shingle that the artist propped on a table. The work is the sixth in a series of seven paintings of the same subject, each more abstract than the one before. Georgia O’Keeffe wrote: “Finally I went back to the shingle and shell…the shingle just a dark space that floated off the top of the painting, the shell just a simple white shape under it. They fascinated me so that I forgot what they were except that they were shapes together — singing shapes.”
1929 - 1950
Marguerite K. Fischel (d.1950), New York, NY, purchased from the artist

John Fischel, New York, NY, by inheritance

c.1950 - 1980
Blanche Fischel Claggett (d.1978) and Charles E. Claggett, St. Louis, MO, gift of John Fischel [1]

1980 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Charles E. Claggett [2]

In the summer of 1929, Georgia O'Keeffe sold this painting to her close friend, Mrs. Marguerite K. Fischel. Mrs. Fischel and her husband Dr. Ellis Fischel (d.1938) retained this painting until Mrs. Fischel's death in 1950, when it was acquired by their only son, John Fischel, who gave it almost immediately to his cousin, Blanche Fischel Claggett, herself an amateur artist, around 1950. After Blanche Fischel Claggett's death on October 14, 1978, the painting remained with her husband, Charles E. Claggett, who presented it to the Museum in his wife's memory [information provided by the donor, SLAM document files].

[1] A 1970 exhibition catalogue and a 1976 publication list the painting in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Claggett [Lloyd Goodrich and Doris Bry. "Georgia O'Keeffe." New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1970, cat. no. 47; "Georgia O'Keeffe (A Studio Book)." New York: Viking Press, 1976].

[2] A letter from Charles E. Claggett dated December 16, 1980 announces his gift of the painting to the Museum [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, December 19, 1980.
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