Essay on Samantha: History of Painting and north American Biographies

Submitted By samanthabrookee
Words: 1320
Pages: 6

Samantha Thomas
5th period

Georgia O’Keeffe Georgia Totto O’Keeffe was born in November near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. She was second of seven children. When she turned nine, she was taken every Saturday for art lessons. At age ten, she had it set in her mind that she wanted to become an artist (North American Biographies 151). “That was the only thing I could do that was nobody else’s business… I could do that as I chose because nobody would care,” O’Keeffe stated (Current Biography). She studied at the art institute of Chicago (1905-06), but was interrupted when she caught typhoid fever. In 1907, she attended The Art Students League in New York and earned money toward her tuition (North American Biographies 151). Georgia was a great painter, she accomplished a male dominated career, and she was determined at what she was doing. Georgia O’Keeffe was a great painter for many reasons. She won a still-life prize that enabled her to spend the summer of 1908 at the League Outdoor School (North American Biographies 152-152). She first began drawing in black-and-white with charcoal and sent those drawings to a friend from the Art Students League, Anita Pollitzer. Pollitzer showed the drawings to Alfred Stieglitz. He was very impressed with the drawings and he displayed them in his gallery in May 1916. O’Keeffe found out about it and asked him to take them down (North American Biographies 152-153). Alfred Stieglitz exhibited 145 of his photographs in February 1921 and the pictures that caused sensation were the forty-five nudes of O’Keeffe. In April 1939, O’Keeffe was selected by the New York World’s Fair as one of twelve outstanding women of the past fifty years (North American Biographies 154-155). O’Keeffe retreated to New Mexico, but in 1957, Newsweek magazine wondered what had happened to O’Keeffe. The following year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, devoted an entire room to O’Keeffe’s paintings (North American Biographies 155). After she first visited New Mexico, much of her art was inspired by the areas barren, haunting landscape. The deserts, hills, buttes, and mountains of New Mexico touched O’Keeffe and inspired most of her art (Berry 62). O’Keeffe’s work, her famous sensual blowups of calla lilies and orchids, the sun-bleached cow skulls and desert landscapes, have been described as abstract, sexual, surrealist, transcendental, and mystical. One critic said her paintings were “monumentally intimate, austerely sensual” (100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century 140-141). In 1907, she won a prize for the still life of a rabbit with a copper pot. “But I began to realize that a lot of people had done this same kind of thing before I came along… I didn’t think I could do it any better… So I stopped painting for quite a while,” Georgia O’Keeffe once said (Current Biography). While O’Keeffe was still in Lake George, she collected shells, shingles, and rocks and took them back to the city with her. She painted a microscopic eye on single flower blossoms and made them giant size, in a realistic and abstract manner (Current Biography). Georgia O’Keeffe was also very important for this one major reason. She accomplished a male dominated career. The Museum of Modern Art invited O’Keeffe and sixty-four other artist to submit drawings for a mural for the interior of the New Radio City Music Hall and O’Keeffe’s proposal was the one accepted of all sixty-four (North American Biographies 154-155). O’Keeffe stated, “I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore. Men have done all they can do about it” (100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century 140-141). When O’Keeffe’s paintings got sent to Alfred Stieglitz famous 291 Gallery in New York, at the time, not a single American museum had a major painting by a woman artist on its walls, so once hers got sent, began one of the most celebrated relationships in American art. Then, in 1917, Stieglitz sponsored her first solo show…