Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia Okeeffe
Also known as
Georgia Totto O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keefe, Mrs. Alfred Stieglitz
Date of birth
Date of death

One of the most influential American artists of the 20th century, Georgia O'Keeffe promoted new ideas of abstraction and helped redefine modern art. Best known for her paintings of flowers and plants—enlarged beyond life-size and precisely painted with bold colors—and for her spare and dramatic images inspired by the landscape of the Southwest, O'Keeffe also took inspiration in the aesthetic and architectural styles that she was exposed to during her time as a student at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Although she only spent one year at SAIC, leaving to recuperate from typhoid fever, she developed a loyalty to the institution, exhibiting her first retrospective at the museum in 1943. After the death of her husband—photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz—O’Keeffe donated his art collection, including his immense holdings of photography to the Art Institute.

While O’Keeffe incorporated elements from various modernist movements into her work, her style was entirely her own. Her ability to connect and infuse natural and abstracted forms with evocative visual and spiritual qualities contributed significantly to the innovations of American modernism.

O’Keeffe also differed from most other American pioneers of modernism in that she was trained entirely in the United States. Apart from her time in Chicago, O'Keeffe lived in Virginia, Texas, and South Carolina before moving permanently to New Mexico, where she worked almost until her death at the age of 98.

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