Georgia O'Keeffe

Early Life

Georgia O'Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887, in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Photographer Alfred Stieglitz gave O'Keefe her first gallery show in 1916 and the couple married in 1924. O'Keeffe moved to New Mexico after her husband's death and was inspired by the landscape to create numerous well-known paintings. Georgia O'Keeffe died on March 6, 1986.

Work life

Artist and painter Georgia O'Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887, in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Known for her striking flower paintings and other captivating works, O'Keeffe was one of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century. She took to making art at a young age and went to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1900s. Later, while living in New York, she studied with such artists as William Merritt Chase as a member of the Art Students League.

Facts

O'Keeffe found an advocate in famed photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz. He showed her work to the public for the first time in 1916 at his gallery 291. Married in 1924, the two formed a professional and personal partnership that lasted until his death in 1946. Some of her popular works from this early period include Black Iris (1926) and Oriental Poppies (1928). Living in New York, she translated some of her environment onto the canvas with such paintings as Shelton Hotel, N.Y. No. 1 (1926).

After frequently visiting New Mexico since the late 1920s, O'Keeffe moved there for good in 1946 after her husband’s death and explored the area's rugged landscapes in many works. This environment inspired such paintings as Black Cross, New Mexico (1929) and Cow's Skull with Calico Roses (1931).

Georgian O'Keeffe continued to paint into the 1970s, her almost complete loss of eyesight and ill health during the last fifteen years of her life significantly curtailed her artistic productivity. Her eye problems began in 1968, and by 1971 macular degeneration caused her to lose all her central vision, leaving her, eventually, with only some peripheral sight.

Death And Legacy

Yet even during these waning years O'Keeffe remained true to the spirit of her art through the life she led. For her, there had been fulfillment in an existence that almost totally revolved around her art. It was, after all, through painting that O'Keeffe filtered all experience.

On March 6, 1986 O'Keeffe died in St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe, having almost reached her goal of living to 100; she was 98 years old.