Georgia O’Keeffe at 92

Sunday marked 25 years since the death of Georgia O’Keeffe, one of America’s foremost artists. The anniversary of her death coincides with the beginning of Women’s History Month. So we figured why not offer a little piece on her.

Born in 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O’Keeffe grew up knowing she wanted to be an artist. Though she received training in academic art and won prizes for still life paintings, she left painting for a while to teach. But when a friend sent her experiments in charcoal to Alfred Stieglitz in New York (the two later married), he offered her her own show in his popular and avant garde Studio 291. This all happened in 1916, and she would not stop painting until her death in 1986, when she was 98 years old.

Known for her large scale and bold paintings of flowers and cityscapes, O’Keeffe found a permanent home in New Mexico where she painted the shapes of the desert from bones to adobe churches. She maintained a unique and independent spirit, as illustrated in this clip from a biography filmed when she was 92 years old. (See above.) The curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe sums up O’Keeffe’s lasting influence, stating “in 1970, when the Whitney Museum of American Art opened a retrospective exhibition of her work, she became the heroine of the feminist movement, thus positioning her in the limelight, which she had first enjoyed in the 1920s.  Whether or not artists working since then have liked or disliked her work, they acknowledge the fact that she established a place for women in an arena from which women had traditionally been excluded”…

For a quick introduction to O’Keeffe’s work, watch Smarthistory’s video intro to the 1929 painting, “The Lawrence Tree.” It gets that name because it was painted on D.H. Lawrence’s ranch.

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.