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The Black Place

Painting of light-colored sand, gray hills of uncertain size, and a strip of blue sky.
© The Art Institute of Chicago

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  • Painting of light-colored sand, gray hills of uncertain size, and a strip of blue sky.




Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887–1986)

About this artwork

The Black Place features an unusually muted palette for Georgia O’Keeffe’s Southwestern paintings: the composition is dominated by shades of white and gray, relieved only by a thin strip of blue sky at the top. “The Black Place” was the name she gave her favorite location to paint, an area of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (also known as the Bisti Badlands) located approximately 150 miles west of Abiquiu, New Mexico. While she painted numerous images of the region’s rounded, gray hills, here she depicted a low, sandy crest that reminded her of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, as she wrote to him: “When I see the country in its silvery beauty and forbidding blackness in my memory—it is so often almost as if I see you too—your silvery hair and grey clothes and black cape.”


On View, Gallery 265


Arts of the Americas


Georgia O'Keeffe


The Black Place


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


50.8 × 91.4 cm (20 × 36 in.)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection, gift of Georgia O'Keeffe

Reference Number



© The Art Institute of Chicago

Extended information about this artwork

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