Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life

1989

Around eighth grade Georgia O’Keeffe proudly proclaimed to her classmates, I’m going to be an artist. Robinson’s extremely detailed biography follows O’Keeffe through her youthful years in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin through her death at age 98 in New Mexico. Georgia is well- known for her large paintings of close up flowers, skulls, and magnificent skies. Her relationship with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz was integral to her success as he introduced her work to the public at his famous 291 Gallery located at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York City. There were 1800 letters and telegrams during their long time together. O’Keeffe was his lover during his marriage to his first wife and Stieglitz and O’Keeffe were married from 1924-1946. O’Keeffe’s personality was full of contradiction dating back to the strong influence of her family. There were many strong women yet O’Keeffe succumbed to the paternalistic influence of Stieglitz who was close to the age of her mother. He refused to allow her to have a child. In her later years she developed a strong relationship with a man 60 years her junior. He took advantage of her wealth and notoriety as she gradually lost her eye sight and became increasingly frail. In the end, O’Keeffe’s large body of work became her legacy.

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