Georgia O’Keeffe

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Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O' Keefe

By Rufus W. Holsinger (1866? – 1930) (originally uploaded by en:User:Uris) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Born: 11/15/1887
Location: Sun Prairie, United States
Died: 03/06/1986
Age: 98
Movements American Modernism
Nationality American
Expertise Painting

Georgia O’Keeffe, whose full name was Georgia Totto O’Keeffe, was the second child born to Francis and Ida O’Keeffe. Her parents encouraged to explore her artistic talents. She played a major role in helping to develop American Modernism in the early twentieth century.

Personal life

O’Keeffe was born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, where she was raised on a dairy farm. She went to school in town and decided at a very young age that she wanted to be an artist. She was encouraged by both of her parents and began her formal study at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1907, after two years of studying in Chicago, she transferred to the Art Students League in New York, where she studied for two additional years. She began to feel as if she would never be able to distinguish her style, so she temporarily gave up art for teaching. Four years later, her interest in producing art was rekindled after she took a course for art teachers at the University of Virginia. Early in 1916, some of her new paintings were presented to Alfred Stieglitz, who decided to promote her painting career. They were married in 1924 and remained married until his death.


Georgia O’Keeffe began to explore her own style around 1915, after she held an exhibition of her work that she realized had been created to please others. Determine to develop a style that was hers and hers alone, she began to create pieces that were then shown to others who were influential in the art world. With their backing, O’Keeffe’s career began to blossom with pieces such as Black Petunia and White Morning Glory and Black Poppies. In 1918, she received financial backing from Alfred Stieglitz, and her success grew even further. Soon after, the two fell in love, and they were eventually married. They spent most of their time in New York until 1929, when she spent the summer in New Mexico painting landscapes. After the death of her husband, O’Keeffe made a permanent move from New York to New Mexico, where many of her paintings were inspired. She moved to a house at Ghost Ranch in 1940 and purchased another house in Abiqui in 1945. She continued to produce famous paintings such as Summer Days and Ladder to the Moon. She continued to work and paint until her eyesight began to fail in the late 1970s. At that point, she began to produce three-dimensional pieces. She continued this until 1984, when she began to have serious complications with her health.

Fun Facts

  • She took four years away from art because she did not feel as if she could distinguish her own style of painting.
  • She grew up on a dairy farm with six siblings.
  • She produced over three thousand pieces of art during her lifetime.

Related Artists


Some Examples of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Artwork



Oriental Poppies 1928 art print by Georgia O'Keeffe

Oriental Poppies 1928

Red Poppy c1927 art print by Georgia O'Keeffe

Red Poppy c1927