Bright, Bold, and Beautiful: The Art of Georgia O'Keeffe

By Harvey, Eleanor Jones | USA TODAY, January 2000 | Go to article overview

Bright, Bold, and Beautiful: The Art of Georgia O'Keeffe


Harvey, Eleanor Jones, USA TODAY


Her paintings of bleached white skulls and pelvises of deer, antelope, and cattle, floating ethereally against a backdrop of landscape and sky, create what one critic called a "vision of infinity."

GEORGIA TOTTO O'KEEFFE was born Nov. 15, 1887, to Ida (Totto) and Francis Cliyxtus O'Keeffe, three and a half miles southeast of the village of Sun Prairie, Wis. The second of seven children and the oldest of five daughters, O'Keeffe began her formal education in a one-room schoolhouse on the Totto property. In the winter of 1898, the seeds of her art career were sown when she began private drawing lessons at home with her grammar school teacher, a family boarder who instructed her from the popular Prang drawing books.

In the fall of 1903, O'Keeffe enrolled in Chatham Episcopal Institute in Virginia, a girls' boarding school. While attending Chatham, she studied art and served as the art editor for the school's first yearbook, submitting several of her humorous pen-and-ink caricatures. After graduating in June, 1905, she studied at the Art Students League in Chicago, winning a $100 prize for her still life, "Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot."

Unable to complete her studies at the Art Students League, O'Keeffe found work in Chicago as a freelance commercial illustrator, drawing lace and embroidery for newspaper advertisements. In 1912, she spent two years as "supervisor of drawing and penmanship" with the public schools in Amarillo, Tex. She explained how she taught her students: "I'd get them to draw a square and put a door in it somewhere--anything to start them thinking about how to divide a space."

In 1916, Alfred Stieglitz, photographer, modern art world impresario, and O'Keeffe's future husband, featured 10 of her charcoal drawings in a three-person exhibition in New York. O'Keeffe initially went to Stieglitz's gallery to protest their inclusion, but ultimately allowed the works to hang.

A retrospective of Stieglitz's photographs opened at the Anderson Galleries in New York in February, 1921. Among the prints first seen publicly were 45 portraits of O'Keeffe. Thousands attended in a two-week period, and she rocketed to prominence. Stieglitz subsequently presented a one-person exhibition of her art at the Anderson Galleries in January, 1923, which included 100 works in a range of styles and media, 90 of them displayed for the first time.

In 1929, O'Keeffe began to break away from the East Coast environment that had provided her primary inspiration for more than 10 years. A trip to northern New Mexico renewed a passion for sky, mountains, and magnificent vistas that she had first encountered when teaching in West Texas 15 years earlier. First in Taos, then at Ghost Ranch, and finally at her adobe home in Abiquiu, she expanded her series subjects to include bones and crosses that are such an integral part of the desert culture of that area. Her bleached white skulls and pelvises of deer, antelope, and cattle float ethereally against the backdrop of landscape and sky in what one critic called a "vision of infinity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bright, Bold, and Beautiful: The Art of Georgia O'Keeffe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.