Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement)


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She was attracted to Alfred Stieglitz for his vision, his love of art and artists. He was attracted to her because he saw someone who was 'her own person' and and American woman artist, at a time when European artists were the most revered. Stieglitz made it his mission to support, emotionally and financially American artists in order to bring their art to the world. At first O'Keefe became completely absorbed by Stieglitz, as many women do.

He kept her in an apartment in New York, while he was married to another woman. He spent many hours of time photographing O'Keefe in the nude, while supporting her so she could paint without a job getting in the way of the art.

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In that crucible of a relationship she was forced to look inward and the isolation, ironically, created a strong need to find out who she was - apart from Stieglitz, or any other man. Her life was a dramatic and often times funny journey of extremes. Jul 21, Suzanne rated it it was amazing.

Subsequently I travelled to New York and the book gave me a new understanding of O'Keeffe's nature, why she painted what she did when she did and her need to breathe in the open skies of New Mexico. Ms Robinson carefully illustrates how O'Keeffe's background and upbringing nourished her independent spirit and led to her individualistic artistic development which was nourished and nurtured by Steig I read this book in preparation for a visit to Santa Fe and New Mexico- Georgia O'Keeffe heartland. Ms Robinson carefully illustrates how O'Keeffe's background and upbringing nourished her independent spirit and led to her individualistic artistic development which was nourished and nurtured by Steiglitz.

She renders credible the very real affection the two shared, anchored in their professional artistic interests and strong enough to survive very different temperaments and other interests - O'Keeffe's for wide open spaces, solitude and travel, Steiglitz's for family, friends, New York and Lake George. By the time Steiglitz passed away, Georgia O'Keeffe was a mature and even famous artist well able to settle and paint where she chose, which was her beloved New Mexico. Ms Robinson shows that although O'Keeffe was content and at peace in her new home and enjoyed extensive travel and the company of local people and friends, the tension and companionship of her relationship with Steiglitz was missing.

The final, eventually sorry relationship with Juan Hamilton, who controlled access to her in her very old age and abused her trust is a sad end to what was a long and fruitful life of a woman who essentially lived and painted as she wished.

Georgia O'Keeffe - Paintings, Flowers & Life - Biography

Sep 20, Suzanne rated it liked it Recommends it for: O'Keefe lovers. Shelves: nonfiction , biography , art-painting-sculpture. This is an exhaustive work, superbly researched and well-cited. It is quite lengthy and "dry" in places so it took some time to complete. O'Keefe was one of the first "modern" female artists, yet remained attached to her lover and husband, the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz, despite his emotional cruelty and neglect.

Her love for him never wavered, but his forceful and demanding personality smothered her spirit, a spirit that fed her art. His serial womanizing made living with him impossi This is an exhaustive work, superbly researched and well-cited.

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His serial womanizing made living with him impossible. She ultimately settled there permanently and the photographs taken of her during that time are iconic in their spareness. In Taos she discovered a "light" that replenished her soul and inspired her paintings, particularly the ones of bleached animal skulls and the deserts of the Southwest. O'Keefe's artistic talent was obvious growing up in a large family in the midwest and she attended the Art Institute in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. She began teaching and taking additional classes while continuing to paint and draw. A classmate showed some of her drawings to Stieglitz and that began their collaboration, resulting in his leaving his wife for her and their ultimate marriage.

Stieglitz promoted her tirelessly in his famous gallery "". But his professional devotion was controlling, arrogant and inflexible and at odds with his neglect of her emotional needs. Much has been written about the erotic qualities of O'Keefe's famous flowers and her rumored bisexuality. Robinson addresses this in the context of that era. Within their avante-garde circle of friends an artist's exploration of sexuality and its role in Nature was accepted.

This was the era of Picasso, the Twenties and the Great Depression. One of Stieglitz's influences on O'Keefe was to never "give away" her work. After Stieglitz's death, O'Keefe asked for paintings back from his estate, and her own collection of paintings and drawings provided the basis for the georgia O'Keefe Museum which opened in Santa Fe after her death.

O'Keefe lived an ascetic, simple life in New Mexico after Stieglitz's death in the 40's. Her body of work is distinctive and timeless.


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She died in at the age of This is a reasonable biography but lacks the passion I would have expected from a female author writing the story of a pioneering, eccentric yet extraordinarily talented female artist. Somehow I think the best way to understand O'Keefe is by viewing her paintings. They speak for themselves. View 2 comments.

Roxanna Robinson is a much-praised novelist as of mid, 5 novels, 3 story collections and has a novelist's interpretive tendencies, which some readers may find intrusive. In fact, I wonder why she decided to write a biography, rather than a novel. Still, Robinson is thorough and careful and this is an eminently readable book.

She especially shines in her treatment of O'Keeffe's art and its critical reception, perhaps a little less when it comes to the artist's relationships. If there are deficiencies in the book, they arise from the time in which it was written the late s. Because she did not have access to the O'Keeffe-Chabot correspondence, Robinson describes that friendship from O'Keeffe's definitely one-sided point of view and cannot tell us how Chabot felt about the way O'Keeffe used her.

Her narrative of the Juan Hamilton episode is similarly weighted and unsympathetic to Hamilton, perhaps because she worked primarily from print sources, and those at the time were heavily negative. Biographies of famous people--especially famous people who conceal their private lives behind a very public persona--are tricky things.

Georgia O'Keeffe

O'Keeffe is especially tricky, because the iconic persona she created is powerful and even intimidating, and because many important documents weren't available to the early s biographers. Her correspondence with Stieglitz was sealed for 25 years after her death: the first volume didn't become available until , the second has not yet been published.

The extensive Chabot correspondence essential to an understanding of the way O'Keeffe treated her "slaves" wasn't published until It's important to know when a biography was published and what sources both print and interview were available at that time.

All that said, Robinson's biography is a very good one to start with. If it's the only one you read, it will take you deep into O'Keeffe's life and art. This was a wonderfully comprehensive look at the life of Georgia O'Keeffe with tons of characters to research on the side. Thank goodness for Google yet again! It starts with her grand parent's history and finishes with her sad end in Santa Fe at the age of I was able to visit the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, the O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, and the Living Modern exhibit at the Reynolda House in Winston-Salem while reading this book, so I feel as if I'm coming out of a sort of immersion experie This was a wonderfully comprehensive look at the life of Georgia O'Keeffe with tons of characters to research on the side.

She was unconventional for her time and wasn't afraid to strike out on her own in the least. After she met Stieglitz, I found that I didn't like her nearly as well, and quite possibly not at all. The man, while a great photographer, was a manipulative, hypocritical, self-important jerk and around him, Georgia was completely cowed and servile. Eventually of course, she had enough and made her escape to New Mexico.

Unfortunately, in self-imposed isolation there, she became her own worst self. Imperious, demanding, and self-centered to the detriment of everyone around her.


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  4. If her end hadn't ended up being such a blatant case of elder abuse, it would almost seems just that Juan Hamilton would come into her life and take over. Yet while I come away not liking Georgia, Stieglitz, or Hamilton one bit, the story itself is fascinating and you really do come to understand the times she lived in and to know her friends and family as you read along. Robinson did a great job with her research and there are a gazillion sources.

    This is absolutely the best book I've read all year. Feb 07, Diane rated it really liked it. Interesting, but some of the writing inconsistant. Jan 06, Mindie Burgoyne rated it it was amazing.

    Art & Leadership for Girls program at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

    An awesome account of Georgia O'Keeffe life. I was particularly interested in how she came to New Mexico and what held her there. The details were rich. Robinson is an excellent storyteller.

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    I nearly read this in one sitting. When I was young, Georgia O'Keeffe was still alive. In the s and 70s she had became an icon of feminine force and power. Not feminism, she seemed above easy categories. She was primal and remote, almost an archetype of female strength and creativity, with her face graven like the hills of her beloved Southwest, yet her collaboration with Alfred Stieglitz was perhaps the great requited love story in art history.

    Many women looked to her for a role model as a woman and artist. This biography took advantage of new material from papers that had been closed to researchers since her death. It delved into her mental landscape, artistic influences, and her family. It showed how she channelled her passions into her art, consciously developing the visual vocabulary necessary to do so, how much she gained and had to give up in choosing to love Stieglitz, and how she finally had to free herself in order to be mentally and physically whole.

    I read this book because I was interested in her later years, which have been colored by her mythology. Robinson presented her decline honestly and with compassion, but spent little time investigating the O'Keeffe myth, which in some ways was her last enduring work. Mar 03, Kayla rated it really liked it. He had complete control over exhibiting them, and he worked hard to promote O'Keeffe's work and to keep her at the forefront of the art world.

    O'Keeffe's artistic prominence was confirmed when the Art Institute of Chicago held a retrospective exhibit of her work in January ; New York's Museum of Modern Art held a similar show in Having never completed an academic degree during her younger years, O'Keeffe was pleased to receive honorary degrees from the College of William and Mary in and from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in After Stieglitz died in , O'Keeffe directed the distribution of his personal art collection and papers.

    Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement) Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement)
    Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement) Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement)
    Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement) Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement)
    Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement) Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement)
    Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement) Georgia OKeeffe: Artist (Women of Achievement)

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