Friday is Artist Profile Day!
Let’s meet Georgia O’Keeffe
Artist: Georgia O’Keeffe (American Painter)
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. ”
– Georgia O’Keeffe
Birth: 1887 (born in Wisconsin)
Death: 1986 (98 years old)
Where they lived: Texas and New Mexico
Family: Married to Alfred Stieglitz (an American photographer) Married him in 1924. Wrote more than 25,000 pages of love letters to each other. She was 23 years younger than Alfred (he was already married when they met).
Background: Her parents were dairy farmers.
Professional background/training: She studied at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and Art Students League in New York.
Started studying with local water colorist Sarah Mann.
Her breakthrough came when Anita Pollitzer showed Alfred Stieglitz her charcoal drawing.
She was a teacher and then head of the art department at West Texas A & M University.
Got the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the National Medal of Arts in 1985. Her 1946 exhibition by MOMA was the first retrospective held for a female artist.
Art Genre: Modernist
Art medium used: Charcoal, oil painting, watercolors
Subject Matters: flowers, leaves, rocks, shells, bones, and Western landscapes in particular Palo Duro Canyon. Most well-known for her flowers but out of her 2000+ pieces of work only 200 or so are flowers.
“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time. ”
– Georgia O’Keeffe
Famous Artwork: Jimson Weed, Poppy, Light Iris, Ladder to the moon, Petunias, Rams Head Blue Morning Glory, Red Canna, Summer Days, and Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy
Other Information: She quit painting 3 times. The first she took on more stable work to help support her family financially, secondly when she had a nervous breakdown in the 1930’s the required hospitalization, and lastly in the years leading up to her death due to failing eyesight.
Magnified her subject to emphasize shape and color.