Pre WW II NA Art
North American Art

North American Art
Before the Second World War

Georgia O'Keeffe


To get a larger version, click on the thumbnail version of a picture.


Georgia O'Keeffe


born: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; 15 November 1887
died: Santa Fe, New Mexico; 6 March 1986

After a childhood spent on her family's Wisconsin farm, O'Keeffe decided she wanted to be an artist. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1904-05) and the Art Students League of New York (1907-08), and afterward she supported herself by doing commercial art. She then taught art at various schools and colleges in Texas and other Southern states from 1912 to 1916.

Her drawings were discovered and exhibited by the American photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz praised and promoted her work, and the two artists began a lifelong relationship, marrying in 1924. The hundreds of photographs Stieglitz took of her form a notable and extended portrait series. [It would be nice to have at least one for this gallery, and several more for the Stieglitz gallery, so if you have any you might email them to us] O'Keeffe moved to New York City after meeting Stieglitz; she hated New York, but found she loved New Mexico. Stieglitz was not be be moved from the center of the art scene so she spent a period of every year in New Mexico. She moved after her husband's death in 1946.

In the early 1920s O'Keefe's own style of painting emerged. Her subjects drawn from the New Mexico landscape were skulls and other animal bones, flowers and plant organs, shells, rocks, mountains, and other natural forms. O'Keeffe delineated these forms with probing and subtly rhythmic outlines and delicately modulated washes of clear color. Her suggestive images of bones and flowers set against a space without perspective inspired a variety of erotic and symbolic interpretations. Although she insisted they were just what they were: pictures of bones and flowers. The precision and austerity of her works owe something to the precisionist paintings of Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth, but her ability to invest biomorphic forms with an abstract beauty was entirely her own. Her style is typified in such paintings as "Cow's Skull, Red, White and Blue" (1931) and "Black Iris" (1926), see the pictures below.

Georgia O'Keeffe painted her best-known works in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, but she remained an active painter until the 1980s. Her later works frequently celebrate the clear skies and desert landscapes of New Mexico. She went blind in later life, and turned to making pottery. A retrospective exhibition of her art, held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1970, assured her reputation as one of the most original and important artists in modern American painting.

Her autobiography, Georgia O'Keeffe, was published in 1976.


New York Pictures

 O'Keeffe: Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

 O'Keeffe: City Night

City Night

 O'Keeffe: East River

East River

  O'Keeffe: Barn in Snow

Barn in the Snow

  O'Keeffe: Lake George

Lake George

 O'Keeffe: Barns


 O'Keeffe: New York Moon

New York Moon

 O'Keeffe: Radiator Building

Radiator Building

 O'Keeffe: Sheldon Sunspots

Sheldon Sunspots



Flower Pictures

 O'Keeffe: Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

 O'Keeffe: Jimson Weeds

Jimson Weeds

 O'Keeffe: Blue 2

Blue 2

 O'Keeffe: Jack in the Pulpit 2

Jack in the Pulpit 2

 O'Keeffe: Jack in the Pulpit 3

Jack in the Pulpit 3

 O'Keeffe: Jack in the Pulpit 4

Jack in the Pulpit 4

 O'Keeffe: Jack in the Pulpit 5

Jack in the Pulpit 5


 O'Keeffe: Jack in the Pulpit 6

Jack in the Pulpit 6


These pictures tend to be quite big about a meter high. Paraphrasing her: If I drew small pictures of flower's -- Who would look at them? I drew them big, so people would notice. So, when you look at the screen versions of these pictures remember they are about half as big as you are.


New Mexico Pictures

 O'Keeffe: Ram's Head

Ram's Head

 O'Keeffe: Gray Hills

Gray Hills

 O'Keeffe: Far-a-way Near-by

Far-a-way Near-by

 O'Keeffe: Music


   O'Keeffe: New Mexico Mountains

New Mexico Mountains

 O'Keeffe: Pelvis 3

Pelvis 3

O'Keeffe: Pelivs Moon

Pelvis Moon 

 O'Keeffe: Plains 1

Plains 1

 O'Keeffe: Deer's Skull

Deer's Skull

 O'Keeffe: Patio 1

Patio 1

 O'Keeffe: Black Door

Black Door

 O'Keeffe: Cebolla Church

Cebolla Church



Shell and Tree Pictures

 O'Keeffe: Red and Rose

Red and Rose

 O'Keeffe: Red Streak

Red Streak

 O'Keeffe: Shell 1

Shell 1

 O'Keeffe: Shell on Red

Shell on Red


 O'Keeffe: Shell Shingle

Shell Shingle

 O'Keeffe: Chestnut Tree

Chestnut Tree

 O'Keeffe: Gray Tree

Gray Tree

 O'Keeffe: Laurence Tree

Lawrence Tree

  O'Keeffe: White Birch

White Birch


 O'Keeffe: Cottonwood Trees

Cottonwood Trees


Pre WW II NA Art
North American Art