Georgia O’Keeffe

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Georgia O’Keeffe

This is Georgia O'Keeffe.

This is Georgia O'Keeffe.

This is Georgia O'Keeffe.

This is Georgia O'Keeffe.

Asseya Malki

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Georgia O’Keeffe is an American artist who paved the way for women and men in art fields. She was born November 15, 1887, in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. As a child, O’Keeffe’s mother encouraged her and her seven other siblings to become well educated. From an early age, O’Keeffe became fascinated with the natural world and developed an increasing interest in becoming an artist.  

O’Keeffe began to study art and continued to do so throughout her childhood. She went on to study art in Chicago after graduating from High School but was forced to drop out after getting typhoid fever. Once her health recovered, O’Keeffe continued to study in New York City. While studying, she expanded her knowledge of art by visiting galleries.

O’Keeffe’s journey to New York was cut short when she was forced to go back home due to family difficulties. She later moved to Charlottesville with her family. Since O’Keeffe was unable to afford to continue her formal education, she began to explore her own artistic abilities and tastes while teaching at a public school in Texas. O’Keeffe began her artistic adventure by breaking from reality and creating abstract pieces.

Charcoal Abstract Art.

O’Keeffe is known to be “the first American artist to practice pure abstraction” according to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Her charcoal abstract compositions are what caught the eye of Stieglitz, a known photographer and an art dealer, who displayed her work on exhibit 291. Despite being angry at him for displaying her work without permission, they began to work together. Stieglitz provided financial support while O’Keeffe continued to explore her artistic abilities.

Soon after, Stieglitz and O’Keeffe began to have an affair, resulting in Stieglitz leaving his wife and beginning a new life with O’Keeffe. She went on to explore her art using bones in the New Mexico Desert. O’Keeffe continued her work until 1986 when, at the age of 98, she passed away. 

Artwork inspired while in New Mexico.

O’Keeffe has remained an important figure in art, and her work inspired many other artists. There is currently an art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver that celebrates O’Keeffe’s achievements along with artists who were inspired by her work.