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Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe
Airdate April 27, 2012
Curriculum Arts & Music
Social Studies

Georgia O'Keeffe launched in BrainPOP Arts & Music/Social Studies April 27, 2012.

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Quotables Edit

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Here are some thoughts from Georgia O’Keeffe!

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.”

“Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression. It is so spontaneous. And after singing, I think the violin. Since I cannot sing, I paint.”

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.”

“Such a beautiful, untouched lonely feeling place, such a fine part of what I call the ‘Faraway.’ It is a place I have painted before…even now I must do it again.” [on the Southwestern United States]

“One can not be an American by going about saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, like America, love America and then work.”

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”

“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”

Around The World Edit

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Looking for some artistic inspiration of your own? There are plenty of places to visit throughout New Mexico, the state that stoked Georgia O’Keeffe’s creative fire. Here are some must-see stops!

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Located in Santa Fe, the museum (pictured) first opened its doors in 1997, 11 years after O’Keeffe’s death. Its collection includes 1,149 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, making it the single largest collection of O’Keeffe artwork in the world!

The Georgia O’Keeffe House and Studio in Ghost Ranch: In 1940, O’Keeffe bought her first house in New Mexico in Ghost Ranch, about 97 kilometers northwest of Santa Fe. Although the house itself, which O’Keeffe used as her summer home, is not open to the public, you can still visit the surrounding area and even camp in full view of the 700-foot cliffs that inspired so many of her landscape paintings.

The Georgia O’Keeffe House and Studio in Abiquiu: In 1945, O’Keeffe bought a second house in Abiquiu, a small town about 26 kilometers south of Ghost Ranch. Visitors can see the patio and black door that were the subjects of many of her architectural paintings.

The Black Place: Adventurous explorers can head to a rugged area between Santa Fe and the town of Taos that O’Keeffe nicknamed the “Black Place.” The wind in this uninhabited stretch is so strong that it nearly blew away O’Keeffe’s easel on many occasions, and the scorching sun often forced her to crawl under her car for shade!

Famous Faces Edit

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Alfred Stieglitz was the art gallery owner who launched Georgia O’Keeffe’s career by exhibiting her work. But that was far from his only contribution to the advancement of art in America.

Stieglitz himself is recognized as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. He also played a key role in establishing photography as an accepted art form.

Born in New Jersey in 1864, and educated as an engineer in Germany, Stieglitz moved to New York in 1890 looking to prove that photography was an art form equal to painting and sculpture.

During the first few decades of the 1900s, American society was transforming rapidly. Machines and skyscrapers had turned cities like New York into bustling metropolises, and this modernization led to a revolution in art. Stieglitz realized that photography was the perfect medium for capturing the fast pace of modern life, and his own photographs reflected that.

For example, Stieglitz took over 300 portraits of Georgia O’Keeffe between 1918 and 1937. The idea that a person’s identity was constantly changing, and therefore couldn’t be captured in just one image, was a modernist concept. And the O’Keeffe portraits also emphasized Stieglitz’s belief that photographs are an expression of the photographer’s feelings about the subject, which can be complex and varied.

Besides his own work, Stieglitz used his art gallery, known as 291, to spotlight other photographers and artists who were pushing the boundaries of modern American art. He also used the gallery to introduce American audiences to the latest trends in European art, such as the Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso.

Trivia Edit

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  • Flowers weren’t the only subject that captivated Georgia O’Keeffe during her early years in New York. She was also inspired by the buildings that lined the city streets, and created a series of architectural paintings that used the same magnifying technique as her flower paintings.
  • The area in northern New Mexico that inspired so much of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work during the 1930s and 40s is now known by many art-savvy visitors as “O’Keeffe Country.”
  • In 1946, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York held a one-woman retrospective on O’Keeffe’s art. It was the first retrospective that MoMA ever held for a woman.
  • Architectural forms like the patio wall and door of O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu, New Mexico were the subjects of several paintings she produced during the 1950s.
  • While traveling around the world in the late 1950s, O’Keeffe was inspired to create a series of paintings of the sky just above the clouds, based on her views from the windows of airplanes.
  • In 1976, O’Keeffe published an illustrated autobiography titled Georgia O’Keeffe, which became a bestseller.
  • O’Keeffe produced 2,029 known works during her lifetime!
  • In 2006, a species of crocodile-like dinosaur was named Effigia okeeffeae, or “O’Keeffe’s Ghost,” in honor of Georgia O’Keeffe. The fossils were originally discovered in rocks taken from near O’Keeffe’s home at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

FYI ComicEdit

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