GEORGIA ON MY MIND

WOMEN IN ART #15

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE

(1887 – 1986)

GEORGIA O'KEEFEE BY ALFRED STEIGLITZ

GEORGIA O’KEEFEE BY ALFRED STEIGLITZ

When Georgia O’Keeffe died at the age of 98, she owned more than half of her own work. Welcome to the land of sun bleached bones and close ups of sensual flowers.

“I hate flowers. I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move.”

Her life was long and complicated (but apparently she had a sense of humor).

PELVIS WITH DISTANCE

PELVIS WITH DISTANCE

Her work was shown in New York by Alfred Steiglitz at the Gallery 291 for the first time in 1916. He sent his friend Paul Strand to Texas to persuade her to move to New York and paint full time. He continued to exhibt her work annually until his death in 1946, giving her her first solo show in 1917 (at the age of 20).

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MY URBAN SHERPA

Shortly after moving to New York, Steiglitz and O’Keeffe began living together. He left his wife of 25 years (he being 23 years older than her).  They married shortly after his divorce was final.  By the time Steiglitz retired from photography in 1937, he had taken an estimated 500 portraits of her.

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PETUNIA

She had her first retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927 at the age of 30.

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AUTUMN TREES

In 1946, she was the first woman to have a retrospective at the  Museum of Modern Art .

When Steiglitz died in 1946, she left New York forever in 1949, relocating to New Mexico.

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She had a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art in 1970.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the National Medal of Arts in 1985.

 

GREEN LINES AND PINK

GREEN LINES AND PINK

In 1996, the United States Postal Service issued a 32 cent stamp honoring her.

 

RED CANNA

RED CANNA

In 2015, a 1932 painting sold for $44,405,000, more than THREE TIMES the price ever sold for a female artist.

CALLA LILY TURNED AWAY

CALLA LILY TURNED AWAY

 

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Georgia Okeeffe by Alfred Steiglitz

In this photo provided by Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keeffe archive, Portrait with Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz by automobile at Lake George, N.Y.  National Gallery of Art photography curator Sarah Greenough leafed through 25,000 pieces of paper exchanged by Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz to produce My Faraway One: The Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Volume I, 1915-1933,  an 800-page tome as big as the Chicago phone book. Despite its girth, the book represents just one-tenth of their correspondence during this period.  (AP Photo/Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keeffe archive, Albuquerque Journal)  NO SALES

“I found I could say things with colors and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Oh, and let’s not forget in 2006 a fossil found in New Mexico was named after her. Effigia Okeeffeae, or O’Keeffe’s Ghost.

If you want to know more – visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

There are several good biographies about her, even a Lifetime movie was produced, starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons – the movie is available on Netflix.

What are your favorite images by her?

 

3 thoughts on “GEORGIA ON MY MIND

  1. Michelle

    I love “Green Lines and Pink,” though I am partial to abstract images. This was interesting for me, having recently spent 10 days painting in Taos. If was a pleasure for me to explore her country. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  2. vickiemartin Post author

    I hope to make it to New Mexico someday. I looked it up and there are all sorts of things going on around Ghost Ranch too. I’m partial to abstract too – but in researching this – I grew to respect her more than I had. I want to learn more about her.

  3. Elda

    What a fascinating life she had! Are you sure it was humor that she was using though? She looks so serious in the photos that I get the feeling that she really meant it when she said she only painted flowers because they were cheaper than models.

    I checked out the movie on Netflix and it says I watched it in 2010 but I don’t remember much about it so I may just have to re-watch it. Hmmm….

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