The outstanding holdings in the Amon Carter provide an intimate glimpse of the career of one of America’s most beloved painters

O'Keeffe's remarkable trajectory as an artist is reflected in this overview, which highlights the people and  places, including Texas, that helped shape her career.            

Although Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) is known for her depictions of the American Southwest, she was raised in tiny Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. A plaque marks the place where the O'Keeffe home once stood.

After several years of study and work as a commercial artist, O’Keeffe took a teaching job at Columbia College in South Carolina, where she created an innovative series of abstract charcoal drawings.

A friend showed them to Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946), who, as a famous photographer and owner of the avant-garde 291 gallery in New York City, was an influential trendsetter and promoter of modern art. Stieglitz was immediately moved and exhibited ten of her drawings in 1916.

In the meantime, O’Keeffe had gone to Texas, where she had taken a position at a teaching college in the small Panhandle town of Canyon. She continued her exploration of abstract natural forms in works such as this watercolor of the West Texas sunrise.

Correspondence between O’Keeffe and Stieglitz led to a solo show at 291, and a whirlwind romance: O’Keeffe moved to New York the following year and the two were married in 1924. By the mid-1920s she was one of the most important and well-known American artists.

Beginning in 1929, O’Keeffe began traveling to New Mexico

where she found desert life to be a great inspiration for her work.

where she found desert life to be a great inspiration for her work.

O’Keeffe became an integral part of a growing community of artists in New Mexico and moved there permanently in 1949, after the death of her husband.

O’Keeffe became an integral part of a growing community of artists in New Mexico and moved there permanently in 1949, after the death of her husband.

She invited fellow artists into her studios at Ghost Ranch

and in nearby Abiquiu.

O’Keeffe maintained a decades-long friendship with photographer Eliot Porter (1901–1990) and even went on camping trips with his family.

Santa Fe photographer Laura Gilpin (1891–1979) photographed O’Keeffe and her home in 1953,

1960,

and 1976.

The Amon Carter began acquiring artworks by Georgia O’Keeffe in 1965 with the purchase of Dark Mesa with Pink Sky

followed by Black Patio Door the next year.

The beautiful photographs by Eliot Porter and Laura Gilpin in this gallery are part of those artists’ estates, which are also held by the Amon Carter

and help preserve the legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Credits: Story

All artworks from the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.

Exhibit produced by
Jana Hill, digital engagement manager, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Shirley Reece-Hughes, associate curator of paintings and sculpture, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Peggy Sell, interpretation manager, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Maggie Adler, assistant curator, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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