“It takes a kind of nerve … and a lot of hard, hard work.” So said Georgia O’Keeffe at the age of 90 when…Read More
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. Art dealer and photographer Alfred Stieglitz was the first to show her work in 1916. By the mid-1920s, O’Keeffe was recognized as one of America’s most important and successful artists, known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers - an essentially American image of modernity - as well as flowers. She made New Mexico her permanent home in 1949, and her paintings of the place coincided with a growing interest in regional scenes by American Modernists seeking a distinctive view of America. In the 1950s, O’Keeffe began to travel internationally. At the age of seventy-three she embarked on a new series focused on the clouds in the sky and the rivers below. Suffering from macular degeneration and discouraged by her failing eyesight, O’Keeffe painted her last unassisted oil painting in 1972. But O’Keeffe’s will to create did not diminish with her eyesight. In 1977, at age ninety, she observed, “I can see what I want to paint. The thing that makes you want to create is still there.” Late in life, and almost blind, she enlisted the help of several assistants to enable her to again create art. In these works she returned to favorite visual motifs from her memory and vivid imagination. Georgia O’Keeffe died in Santa Fe in 1986, at the age of 98.