10 things you didn’t know about Georgia O’Keeffe

O'Keeffe - Sky Above The CloudsOne of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Georgia O’Keeffe is considered to be a pioneer for women in the art world. Her life was an exciting ride spanning almost a full century, and her gigantic works of art are a testament to a woman without fears who knows no boundaries. Here are ten things you didn’t know about Georgia O’Keeffe:

  1. Georgia O’Keeffe was born 1887, her father was a Banker and she decided that she wanted to become an artist when she was 10. O’Keeffe studied art in the Art Institute of Chicago.
  2. After college, O’Keeffe first worked as a Commercial artist for advertisements. O’Keeffe’s work was first exhibited in public in April 1916 in New York, at the gallery 291, ran by photographer-art dealer Alfred Stieglitz.
  3. In 1918 O’Keeffe was forced to give up teaching due to ill health. Alfred Stieglitz gave her money to paint for a year
  4. O’Keeffe painted what she considered to be her first fully mature oils in 1919, mostly abstract artworks on a very big scale.
  5. In 1923 Stieglitz exhibited 100 of O’Keeffe’s works in a major show at the Anderson Galleries. In 1924 O’Keeffe married Stieglitz. O’Keeffe’s first retrospective was held in 1927 at the Brooklyn Museum.
  6. In 1929, O’Keeffe fell in love with the landscape of New Mexico, returning every summer and eventually buying a house and living there permanently after Stieglitz’s death.
  7. In May 1946 the Museum of Modern Art in New York staged a retrospective of O’Keeffe’s work. This was a landmark for the museum because it was the first solo show at the museum of a woman artist
  8. In 1953 O’Keeffe traveled outside North America for the first time, to Europe. There she caught the travel bug and ended up traveling extensively. In 1959, at the age of 71, she went on a three-month trip around the world. The view from a plane provided O’Keeffe with a new subjects: Rivers carving their way through a barren landscape, and clouds floating in the sky.
  9. In 1973 O’Keeffe met Juan Hamilton, a potter almost sixty years younger then her, who became her confidant and companion. In 1971 O’Keeffe’s eyesight began to deteriorate, to the extent she could see colors only with her peripheral vision. Hamilton encouraged her to capture color and form, and experiment with clay.
  10. O’Keeffe died on 6 March 1986 at the age of 98 in Santa Fe. Her ashes were scattered on her ranch, Ghost Ranch. O’Keeffe’s works are associated with the Modernist school of art and is considered a pioneer for woman’s rights. O’Keeffe had enormous influence on the modern art world of the twentieth century.

A truly amazing and truly glorious artist, Georgia O’Keeffe has positioned her self among the greatest artist ever to come from the United States, her legacy will be with us for years to come.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.