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Georgia O’Keeffe: About

Georgia O'Keeffe


Who is Georgia O'Keeffe?

 Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, renowned for her contribution to modern art. Born on November 15, 1887, the second of seven children, Georgia Totto O’Keeffe grew up on a farm near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. By the time she graduated from high school in 1905, O’Keeffe had determined to make her way as an artist. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, where she learned the techniques of traditional painting. The direction of her artistic practice shifted dramatically four years later when she studied the revolutionary ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow. Dow offered O’Keeffe an alternative to established ways of thinking about art. She experimented with abstraction for two years while she taught art in West Texas. Through a series of abstract charcoal drawings, she developed a personal language to better express her feelings and ideas.

O’Keeffe mailed some of these highly abstract drawings to a friend in New York City. Her friend showed them to Alfred Stieglitz, the art dealer and renowned photographer, who would eventually become O’Keeffe’s husband. He became the first to exhibit her work, in 1916.

By the mid-1920s, O’Keeffe was recognized as one of America’s most important and successful artists, known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers—an essentially American symbol of modernity—as well as her equally radical depictions of flowers.  

In the summer of 1929, O’Keeffe made the first of many trips to northern New Mexico. The stark landscape and Native American and Hispanic cultures of the region inspired a new direction in O’Keeffe’s art. For the next two decades she spent most summers living and working in New Mexico. She made the state her permanent home in 1949, three years after Stieglitz’s death.  

O’Keeffe’s New Mexico paintings coincided with a growing interest in regional scenes by American Modernists seeking a distinctive view of the nation. In the 1950s, O’Keeffe began to travel internationally.  Continue reading from Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

From our Collection

Link to Georgia O'Keeffe by Gerry Souter in Hoopla
Link to Georgia O'Keeffe a Life by Roxana Robinson in the catalog
Link to Georgia O'Keeffe by Susan Wright in the catalog
Link to Georgia a novel of Georgia O'Keefe by Dawn Clifton the catalog
Link to Becoming O'Keeffe the early years by Sarah Whitaker Peters in the catalog
Link to Georgia O'Keeffe and the Camera the Art of Identity by Susan Danly
Link to Through Georgia's Eyes  by Rachel Rodriguez in the catalog
Link to Georgia O'Keeffe by Ma Isabel Sánchez Vegara in the catalog

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