Georgia O’Keeffe

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Alfred Steiglitz


Revolutionized 20th century modern art; received numerous awards, including the Medal of Freedom

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Georgia O’Keeffe summary: Georgia O’Keefe was born on November 15th, 1887 in Wisconsin. Her interest in painting began at an early age, and O’Keeffe completed her regular education and then went on to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. She spent several years working in Chicago as a commercial artist before traveling to Texas and becoming the the art supervisor of a public school in Amarillo. She moved to New York City to take art classes at Columbia University.

She then returned to Texas, where she spent two years training art teachers at a College. Later known for her captivating paintings of flowers, she received her first gallery showing in 1916 by famous photographer Alfred Steiglitz. O’Keeffe married Steiglitz in 1924, and the two became both personal and professional partners until he died in 1946.

After her husband’s death, O’Keeffe moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city that she had fallen in love with in the 1920s and had visited regularly since. In addition to her floral paintings, the beautiful landscapes inspired O’Keeffe to catch the magnificence of her environment in her paintings as well. The barrenness of the desert also inspired her to paint animal bones, capturing both the solitude and harshness of the desert along with its beauty. Her later works often featured a door in an adobe wall with a sky background. Her art was the first retrospective by a female artist to be shown at Museum of Modern Art. She also won numerous awards, including the Medal of Freedom, a Gold Medal of Painting, and the National Medal of Arts.

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