Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe

Style: American Modernism

Lived: 1887 - 1986 (20th century)

Nationality: USA


Georgia O'Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887 in Wisconsin (USA). As a child, she received art lessons at home and it didn't take long till her talent was recognized. By the time Georgia O'Keeffe graduated from High School, she was determined to become an artist.

After High School, O'Keeffe went to study at Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League of New York where she was taught to paint in imitative realist style. O'Keeffe decided that she did not like this and that it was limiting her abilities and therefore decided to stop making art.


Four years after O'Keeffe decided to leave art behind her, her interest returned and Georgia took a summer course for art teachers at the University of Virginia. She was there taught the (back then) revolutionary ideas of artist Arthur Wesley Dow. Dow believed that the goal of art was the expression of the artist's personal ideas and feelings and that such subject matter was best realized through harmonious arrangements of line, color, and notan (the Japanese system of lights and darks).

In 1915, when she was teaching art at Columbia College, Georgia O'Keeffe decided to put Dow's theories to the test. O'Keeffe made a series of abstract charcoal drawing, which are today recognised as being amongst the most innovative in American art history. O'Keeffe met up with Alfred Stieglitz, a famous photographer and art impresario, who was more than willing to expose her work in his art gallery. In 1918, Stieglitz offered her financial support to paint a year in New York. Not long after her arrival in New York, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz fell in love. Stieglitz continued to promote the work of Georgia O'Keeffe in art galleries across the country till his death in 1946.

O'Keeffe's most famous period started in the mid-1920's, when Georgia started painting flowers as if they were in close-up. This eventually made her become one of the most famous and well respected American artists.


In 1949, when she was 62, O'Keeffe moved to New Mexico where she lived at her Ghost Ranch House. O'Keeffe continued painting till the 1970's when her diminishing eyesight made it impossible to continue producing her art. Georgia O'Keeffe died at the age of 98.

In 1987, one year after O'Keeffes death, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe (USA) opened.

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