Artist Georgia O'Keeffe, who died March 6 at age 98, has bequeathed the National Gallery of Art 10 oil paintings, her will revealed.
It is one of eight museums to which she left 52 artworks, and of those the gallery received the largest number.
Gallery officials declined to comment yesterday or confirm the bequest, of which they have not yet been officially notified.
But Katherine Freedberg, deputy information officer, said, "We hope we'll be included."
There was no estimate of the bequest's value, but the highest price paid for an O'Keeffe at auction was in December when "White Rose, New Mexico" sold to an anonymous buyer for $1,265,000 at Sotheby's in New York.
The paintings the gallery is to receive, designated in a will filed Monday in the Santa Fe District Court, offer a strong representative sample of O'Keeffe's best known themes. Two abstract paintings, "Black and White" (1930) and "Line and Curve (Abstraction)" (1927) are in the gift, along with "Shell I" (1928), "Cow's Skull on Red" (1931-36) and "Sky Above White Clouds I" (circa 1962). Five flower paintings titled "Jack-in-the-Pulpit," numbered II through VI, all done in 1930, also are in the bequest.
In a 1977 ARTnews magazine interview, the artist said of her famous flower paintings, "Actually I saw a painting, a still life, I don't remember whose it was. There was a cup and saucer, a spoon and a flower. Well, the flower was perfectly beautiful. It was exquisite, but it was so small you really could not appreciate it for itself.
"So then and there I decided to paint that flower in all its beauty. If I could paint that flower in a huge scale, then you could not ignore its beauty. So I sat down to paint it, my first big flower, and it was wonderful."
Other museums to receive oil paintings or pastels are the Art Institute of Chicago (nine), the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (nine), the Brooklyn Museum (six), the Cleveland Museum of Art (five), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (four) and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (five) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (four).
O'Keeffe bequeathed her ranch near Abiquiu to Juan Hamilton, her companion of about 15 years, as well as the right to choose six oil paintings and 15 watercolors or pastels after other bequests are made according to her instructions. He also is to receive $200,000 as executor of her estate.
O'Keeffe left $30,000 to Jackie Suazo of Santa Fe, who studied painting with her years ago. Her home will go to charity.
Curators said the National Gallery currently owns no O'Keeffe oils, but has several on long-term loan, including some from O'Keeffe herself. The gallery owns one O'Keeffe drawing.
It is not O'Keeffe's first gift to the National Gallery. In 1949 she gave the gallery 1,600 photographs by her husband, the renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who had died three years earlier.