10 Phenomenal Facts About Georgia O’Keeffee
The immensely talented Georgia O’keefee was a brilliant artist. Fondly known for being the Mother of American Modernism, she was a pivotal force in the 20th century, as she blessed the world with her collection of paintings which paid homage to the beauty of natural forms and vivid colors. Later on, she took on the craft of sculpting. She married gallery curator and famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz , and together they became a force to be reckoned with in the art world. (Perhaps like how Beyonce and Jay-Z are so big in the music industry, O’keeffee and Stieglitz were pretty big in their day, too). She was the most successful woman painter during her time. Read on for 10 phenomenal facts about the lady of the hour:
Fact 1: Georgia O’keeffee was blessed with a long, colorful life. Having lived from the year 1887 till 1986, she was at the age of 98 when she had passed away. Up until she was 70, she enjoyed activities such as camping. One notable adventure would be her rafting trip alongside photographer Todd Webb when she was 74. Her camping equipment can be found at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (Yes, she has her own museum!) back in Santa Fe.
Fact 2: O’keeffee was best known for her beautiful paintings of flowers, human and animal bones, sea shells, stones, greenery, as well as other natural forms. She had created roughly 200 paintings about flowers! Her most famous pieces are close ups of beautifully painted flowers such as the Black Iris and some Oriental Poppies. Back in 1929, O’Keeffe decided to take a vacation to Taos, New Mexico. It’s where she fell in love with the open sky and landscape that inspired her to create her award winning pieces.
Fact 3: Back in the year 1928, six of her Calla Lily paintings were sold for a whooping $25,000! This was the largest amount paid at the time to a living American artist.
Fact 4: A time for celebration and a momentous occasion for women everywhere! Georgia O’keeffee was given an extraordinary one-woman exhibition back in the year 1946 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the very first for a woman!
Fact 5: Now this is just amazing. Her major retrospective back in the year 1970 had catapulted her to become the most significant and influential American painter. Jealous yet?
Fact 6: As we grow with age, unfortunately, we don’t get to bring with us the senses we’d like to keep. O’Keeffe’s vision gradually failed her back in 1971, and from there she slowly withdrew from the life of an artist. Miraculously, she resumed painting in 1973 when she met Juan Hamilton, a young artist who had assisted her with her work and introduced sculpting to her.
Fact 7: Her illustrated autobiography was called “Georgia O’Keeffee”, and it was the best seller during 1976.
Fact 8: She had married the man who was behind her first gallery show! Alfred Stieglitz was so taken by O’keeffee’s work that he plastered all of her charcoal drawn pieces in his gallery without her knowledge. Enraged, Georgia demanded that they be taken down. But after their rocky start, they soon got married.
Fact 9: Perhaps the most astonishing fact in the list! O’keeffee and Stieglitz had written roughly 25,000 love letters to one another! They began writing to each other, even while he was married and she was 23 years younger. Sometimes 40 pages at length.
Fact 10: After going blind, she had turned to creating sculptures. Nothing could take away the talent and fire from this remarkable woman and truly gifted artist.