Women’s History Month Spotlight: Georgia O’Keeffe

 In MOA Features
blue-and-green-music-georgia-o-keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), “Blue and Green Music,” 1919-1921, oil on canvas, 23 x 19 inches. The Art Institute of Chicago.

Guest Post by Caroline Parry, MOA Marketing and PR Intern

In the early 1900s, the art world changed forever as Georgia O’Keeffe entered the scene. Georgia O’Keefe was a bold and innovative artist with a distinct style of flowers and landscapes that were unlike anything anyone else was doing at the time.

Born on November 15, 1887, Georgia O’Keeffe had always been artistic. She studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and worked as a traditional realist painter. She then taught at universities in South Carolina and Texas. During this period, O’Keeffe style changed drastically.

She wanted to first express her ideas and feelings through charcoal pieces. This action led to her radical break and she became one of the first to practice pure abstraction. She sent her works to New York which a friend then showed to a dealer, Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz later became her husband. This marriage increased her popularity in New York, and she did many works that were inspired by the cityscape there—the iconic image of American modernity.

In 1949, three years after her husband’s death, she made New Mexico her home, following a life-long fascination with the region. Her artistic style shifted yet again, now inspired by the landscapes of the southwestern desert. She traveled internationally during this time as well, increasing her acclaim worldwide.

Towards the end of her life, O’Keeffe began to go blind. Still wanting to create art, she required the help of many assistants to bring the artwork in her head to life. She died in Sante Fe, New Mexico on March 6, 1986 at the age of 98. Georgia O’Keefe’s impact on the art world is internationally recognized and she is often known as the “Mother of American modernism.” Over 500 examples of her work are displayed in over 100 countries around the world.

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