Curators’ View: Roses in Bloom

Roses have a storied history, from the ancient Greek belief that white roses originated from sea foam during Aphrodite’s birth to Gertrude Stein’s poetic line from 1913, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” Hear Erica Hirshler, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, describe this history and discuss “one of the most beloved depictions of roses in our collections,” Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Rose with Larkspur No. 2. Part of a series of white roses O’Keeffe painted in 1927, the painting was selected for the MFA by the artist herself, when O’Keeffe declared in 1980 that it would be “the painting for Boston.”