Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

     Born into the legacy of Victorian values in 1887 in Wisconsin, Georgia O'Keeffe developed an artistic style that brought unparalleled innovation to the American Modernist movement. As she finished high school in 1905, she set out to pursue a career as an artist, a decision based upon the immense talent she displayed in the art lessons she received at home. O'Keeffe spent three years (1905-1908) studying at art schools in Chicago and New York. Here, she perfected the methods of the prevailing style of the day, imitative realism. The style quickly left her disenchanted, and she took time away from creating art.

     The ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow revived her passion four years later. Dow emphasized the importance of utilizing line, shape, and light to express the feelings of the artist. While a teacher at Columbia College in 1915, she began to test her hand at Dow's style. The results of this effort were charcoal abstractions that are today considered to be among the most innovative of that period. O'Keeffe married Alfred Stieglitz , who had previously displayed her art in his gallery, in 1924. New Mexico's stunning landscapes began to influence her art in 1929, and three years after Stieglitz's death in 1946, she moved to her beloved New Mexico. She continued to work until her retirement in 1984 because of weakening sight; she died two years later at the age of 98.
some of the "O'Keeffe Country" landscape that inspired her later work
     The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico works to preserve the art of O'Keeffe and display that of her contemporaries (such as Andy Warhol). A biographical film and electronic interpretive devices are the best ways that the museum attempts to bring her artwork to life for visitors. Because of a special exhibit, little of O'Keeffe's art was on display at the time of our visit, and unfortunately, those pieces that were available for viewing were her less-familiar, early work. Despite disappointments during our visit, the efforts of the museum as a whole (preservation of works, education, etc.) are priceless in continuing the legacy of a sensational contributor to Modernism and womanhood in America.

More information can be found at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Website.

- Daniel Manuel

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