Browse Paintings, Photos, Papers & More in the Archive of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, America’s Original Art Power Couple

O'Keeffe 1

Does any cou­ple loom larg­er in the world of twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry Amer­i­can art than Alfred Stieglitz and Geor­gia O’Ke­effe? Not if you believe the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Ke­effe Archive at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty’s Bei­necke Rare Book and Man­u­script Library. If you go there, you’ll find “thou­sands of let­ters and hun­dreds of pho­tographs in addi­tion to a col­lec­tion of lit­er­ary man­u­scripts, scrap­books, ephemera, fine art, and realia, pri­mar­i­ly dat­ing between 1880 and 1980, which doc­u­ment the lives and careers of the photographer/publisher/gallery own­er Alfred Stieglitz and the painter Geor­gia O’Ke­effe.” But you can even view some of its mate­r­i­al here on the inter­net, includ­ing pho­tos by and of “Stieglitz and his cir­cle of artists and writ­ers” and “a vari­ety of paint­ings and draw­ings, let­ters and ephemera, and medals and awards.”

Steiglitz O'Keeffe

The online archive does, of course, con­tain some paint­ings from O’Ke­effe, such as House I Live in 1937 at the top of the post or, more in line with her famous­ly flo­ral focus, Pink Ros­es just below. But you’ll also find behind-the-work per­son­al arti­facts like the 1929 image of Stieglitz and O’Ke­effe togeth­er at Lake George, New York just above. You can browse through all the mate­r­i­al avail­able with this list, or you can fil­ter it down to the items per­tain­ing specif­i­cal­ly to O’Ke­effe or those per­tain­ing specif­i­cal­ly to Stieglitz, though in life the two had an “instant men­tal and phys­i­cal attrac­tion” that kept them on some lev­el insep­a­ra­ble dur­ing the course of their forty-year rela­tion­ship.

O'Keeffe 2

They even enjoyed a kind of artis­tic togeth­er­ness dur­ing the long-dis­tance stretch­es of that rela­tion­ship, when O’Ke­effe “dis­cov­ered her love for the land­scape of the Amer­i­can South­west and spent increas­ing amounts of time liv­ing and work­ing there.”

stieglitz flat iron

And while many of us already know about her favorite sub­jects and the ways in which she real­ized them on can­vas, few­er of us know about the efforts Stieglitz took to make pho­tog­ra­phy into not just a legit­i­mate but respect­ed art form. To get a sense of what that took, start with Stieglitz’s autochromes (below), some of the ear­li­est ven­tures made by an Amer­i­can artist into the realm of col­or pho­tog­ra­phy. Both Stieglitz and O’Ke­effe, each in there own medi­um, made us see things dif­fer­ent­ly. How many art-world pow­er cou­ples can say the same?

O'Keeffe 3

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Real Geor­gia O’Keeffe: The Artist Reveals Her­self in Vin­tage Doc­u­men­tary Clips

Alfred Stieglitz: The Elo­quent Eye, a Reveal­ing Look at “The Father of Mod­ern Pho­tog­ra­phy”

Fri­da Kahlo Writes a Per­son­al Let­ter to Geor­gia O’Keeffe After O’Keeffe’s Ner­vous Break­down (1933)

Whit­ney Muse­um Puts Online 21,000 Works of Amer­i­can Art, By 3,000 Artists

Col­in Mar­shall writes else­where on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­maand the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future? Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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