I’m looking at Rutgers University blog for the course, Art and Women FA 2011, and now want to clarify the part from my previous post about how Georgia O’Keeffe met Alfred Stieglitz in 1916. She had sent abstract charcoal drawings to Anna Politzer (I don’t know who she was) who later took them to Stieglitz. I think O’Keefe asked Politzer where her drawing were and that’s when she found out they were at Steiglitz’s 291 gallery. She was the only female artist at the exhibition which is relevant later in this post.

Radiator Building, Georgia O'Keeffe 1927

Radiator Building, Georgia O’Keeffe 1927

The Rutgers blog entry, Georgia O’Keeffe, posted by “viegas” says:  Georgia paintings were not related to one particular subject but rather it depicted what inspired her the most at that period of time in her life.

Like for example in the 1920s Georgia created a lot of work which displayed New York buildings.  The American Radiator Building in 1927 is one of her early works which portrayed her inspiration and fascination of skyscrapers (Designobserver.com).

Calla Lily (Lily-Yellow No. 2) Georgia O'Keefe 1927

Calla Lily (Lily-Yellow No. 2) Georgia O’Keefe 1927

I don’t know if the observation “what inspired her the most at that period of time in her life” is necessarily correct. She appeared to be fascinated with flowers and skyscrapers at the same time, at least according to her paintings in chronological order at WikiPaintings.

Viegas goes on to say: the social conditions during Georgia O’Keeffe’s time [1915 – 1965???] was probably one of the best periods for women artists to succeed but again like always the only drawback was women artists were overshadowed by their male counterparts.

Often times their husbands and boyfriends were famous and critics argue that they passed on their fame to their wives and girlfriends and if not for the men these women wouldn’t have succeeded.

[Like for example] Frida Kahlo had her Diego Rivera, Lee Krasner her Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keeffe had Alfred Stieglitz whose career so often overshadowed her own work.

That’s pretty interesting but, frankly, I think it’s true in Frida Kahlo’s case and I’ve never even heard of Lee Krasner. Maybe I’ll do post about her and Jackson Pollock sometime.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit II, Georgia O'Keefe 1930

Jack-in-the-Pulpit II, Georgia O’Keefe 1930

People found O’Keeffe’s paintings controversial at times because of the fact that her flowers depicted female eroticism.

This was something that was very new to the art world because although the phallus was a subject of art since the existence of mankind female genitalia was not depicted in the same light by painters.

This bold move on the part of Georgia O’Keeffe won her admiration from many feminist groups.

I’m guessing Jack-in-the-Pulpit II is considered an example of female genitalia in the minds of many feminist groups. I don’t where I read it but she didn’t want to have anything to do with feminists.  She died in Santa Fe in 1986. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum‘s website lists a chronology of her life and awards and accomplishments.


QUOTE: I get out my work and have a show for myself before I have it publicly. I make up my own mind about it–how good or bad or indifferent it is. After that the critics can write what they please. I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free. — Georgia O’Keeffe.