The work is now housed in a private collection but is sometimes seen at exhibitions of O’Keeffe's work. The origin of the painting is interesting and unusual. In 1939 O’Keeffe was sent on an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (later to become the Dole Company). The purpose of this trip was to produce two paintings to be used in an advertising campaign. Inspired by the landscape around her O’Keeffe produced a large number of paintings during her nine week stay. None of these works, however, depicted a pineapple.
Georgia O'Keeffe (15 November 1887 – 6 March 1986) was a hugely successful American artist. During her lifetime she painted in excess of 2000 works, over a period of 70 years. She is considered by many to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and a museum devoted to her life and work was opened in Sante Fe, New Mexico in 1997.
When she returned to the mainland she gave the company two works, one painting of a papaya, and another of a heliconia plant. They insisted on a painting of a pineapple and went to the expense of shipping one from Hawaii to her house. However, she decided to paint a pineapple from memory and “Pineapple Bud” was the result. The painting itself is not of a whole pineapple but, as the title suggests a close up of a bud surrounded by pineapple leaves. The company appear to have been happy with the outcome and used the painting in an advertising campaign in a wide variety of publications. Her work remains highly sought after, in 2014 her painting Jimson Weed – another flower/plant close up- fetched $44.4 million at auction, a record for a work of art painted by a woman.