An acclaimed twentieth-century American artist, two Hitchin-based painters, and a celebration of Black History Month feature in three new exhibitions at museums in Stevenage and North Herts.

The exhibitions are free of charge and will be open throughout half-term. 

Stevenage Museum is hosting the touring exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Memories of Drawings until December 23. O’Keeffe was a modernist artist active in the 20th century and 21 of her prints are on display in the exhibition. One of her paintings sold for $44,405,000 in 2014, making it the most expensive painting ever by a female artist. 

Dora Housham, a senior assistant at the museum, said: “We are thrilled to be showing this exhibition of works by such an influential figure in modern art. The drawings in this show are wonderfully intricate and detailed, showing another side to O’Keeffe, who is normally associated with large abstract paintings.” 

Jo Ward, the museum’s curator, said: “A couple who recently visited the exhibition described it as ‘world class’. They had recently returned from a trip to the United States where they visited Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio.” 

Meanwhile, North Herts Museum is hosting an exhibition marking Black History Month until November 6.

Matthew Platt, Assistant Curator, said: “We are proud to present Spotlight on Success as our contribution to Black History Month for this year. The exhibition highlights seven people from our local area who discuss their successes in life and struggles they have overcome.” 

Elsewhere inside North Herts Museum is Back to the Drawing Board, an exhibition featuring the work of two local artists. It is open until January 29, 2023, and almost all of the paintings are for sale.

The Comet: James Willis' painting of Hitchin's churches features in 'Back to the Drawing Board'. Credit: North Herts MuseumJames Willis' painting of Hitchin's churches features in 'Back to the Drawing Board'. Credit: North Herts Museum (Image: North Herts Museum)

Ros Allwood, the museum's cultural services manager, said: “This exhibition shows over 70 works by two well-known artists, Carl Laubin and James Willis, both of whom live in Hitchin. 

“Carl is known internationally for his architectural oil paintings, although our exhibition also includes many landscapes showing the fields around Charlton. 

“James displays superb large scale watercolours of buildings in the district, particularly the Hitchin streetscapes, capturing the beautiful historic details of many of the shops and buildings."