.... What strikes one most forcefully in the photographs of Mr. and Mrs. Heade that have survived is the unmistakable note of privacy in their Florida arrangements, of a shared intimate life kept to themselves. Nowhere is the private note more poignantly sounded than in Heade's late, great series of paintings of magnolias. Magnolias too had been enlisted in the public image of Florida and its hotel-world... But Heade was after something entirely different in his paintings of magnolia blossoms arrayed on blue and red velvet cloth. The paintings are unmistakably erotic, as John Baur noted in his pioneering article of 1954: "the fleshy whiteness of magnolia blossoms startlingly arrayed on sumptuous red velvet like odalisques on a couch." Robert Smith took the idea further, finding "an aura of post-coital dishabille" in the reclining blossoms. These paintings hint of a private realm, velvet-enshrouded, and one that is temporary and transient, evanescent like the magnolia itself.Absent an image of the Heade my mind supplies its own association:
Sealed with a kiss, darling. Hope all is well with you. Hitting send.