The bold, poetic flower forms of Georgia O’Keeffe have become modern American classics. Working in an exaggerated scale, O’Keeffe achieved timeless abstractions by reducing her subjects to their simplest form and color.
Born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O’Keeffe studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later at the New York Art Students League under the direction of William Merritt Chase. At a time when women were strongly discouraged from pursuing careers, O’Keeffe embarked on a path that ultimately led to her recognition as the pre-eminent female American artist of the 20th century. Her work was first exhibited in 1917 by renowned photographer Alfred Steiglitz at his 291 Gallery in New York, where it created a sensation. She later married Steiglitz, whose unflagging support enabled O’Keeffe to focus on her extraordinary artistic talents.
The artist spent the last forty years of her life in the desert of New Mexico finding inspiration in the rugged splendor of her surroundings. O’Keeffe was the recipient of numerous honors and awards during her lifetime, notably the United States Medal of Freedom in 1977.