Georgia O’Keeffe

"...I am going to be an artist!"--"I don't really know where I got my artist idea...I only know that by that time it was definitely settled in my mind."
               Georgia O’Keeffe

When we selected our women to research I’d only heard of a few of them, but in knowing about them I realized I’d rather research someone I don’t know much about. I saw Georgia O’Keeffe and decided to pick her. Mostly because I knew nothing about her, but her name just seemed to intrigue me.

Facts in Brief

Name: Georgia Totto O’Keeffe
Birth: November 15, 1887
Location of Birth: Farmhouse on a large dairy farm outside of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, second of seven children.
Date of Death: March 6, 1986
At sixteen, Georgia already had five years of art school in Virginia and Wisconsin; Art Institute of Chicago; and the Art Students League, New York
1908--won the League's William Merritt Chase still-life prize for her oil painting Untitled. 1997--The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gold medal for painting--National Institute of Arts (1970), Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977), and National Medal of Arts (1985).

Born in 1887, Georgia O’Keeffe grew up knowing she wanted to be an artist. After she finished high school she went to the Art Institute of Chicago (1905-06) and then to the Art Students League in New York (1907).

In 1913, she began to teach art in Texas. O’Keeffe did this until 1918. In 1916 Alfred Steigleitz became interested in O’Keeffe abstract style. Steigleitz then exhibited her paintings, in New York. In 1924, the two married.

O'Keeffe was known for her large paintings of such things as desert flowers, New Mexican landscapes, and sun-bleached animal skulls. When O’Keeffe first visited the New Mexican desert, she was stunned by its beauty. In ‘49, three years after the death of her husband, O’Keeffe moved there.

Abstract art is art that depends on internal form rather than pictorial representation. Abstract is what O’Keeffe loved to do. She loved putting things together to make something that was so beautiful it’s hard to tell what it is.

Georgia O’Keeffe was independent and loved to be alone. O’Keeffe was isolated from the world. She, like every other artist, expressed herself through pictures and colors. Every painting told a different story. By the mid 1920’s she was considered one of the most successful artists. To her, this meant nothing. She didn’t care about the attention she got or the recognition she’d received. She painted for herself. That’s what O’Keeffe helped me believe; that being independent doesn’t mean that you’re alone.

"It was all so far away...there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased."
            Georgia O’Keeffe--speaking of her home in New Mexico


1. Author not available, Georgia O'Keeffe. , Archive Photos, ©01.01.96

2. Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 20, p. 684, Grolier Incorporated--Danbury, Connecticut, ©1996

3., O'Keeffe, Georgia, an Encarta Encyclopedia Article Titled "O'Keeffe, Georgia", ©1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation, 3.30.01

4., Georgia O'Keeffe Museum | About Georgia O'Keeffe, 4.02.01

Content and Web Design by: Cannon | Created: 4.03.01
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