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Georgia O’Keeffe

Important Terms, People, and Events

Plot Overview

1887–1905: Childhood Years

Terms

Abstraction -   · An artistic technique that emphasizes conceptual representation and discards the attempt to represent real objects.
Amarillo -   · The opportunity to work as an art supervisor in Amarillo, Texas, in 1912–1914 was important in O’Keeffe’s artistic development. She developed a love for the landscape of southwestern United States, which was her primary inspiration throughout her career. While teaching, she also instilled that love in her students, opening their eyes to the beauty in their environment.
Art Institute of Chicago  -   · This renowned art museum also houses a prestigious art school. While attending the school in 1905–1906, Georgia found that its conservative focus on realism and mastering the techniques of European artists did not suit her interests. Nonetheless, she excelled in the classroom and was ranked well.
Art Students League  -   · Founded in 1875, this school was innovative in its educational approach in contrast to other art schools at the time of its founding. Besides Georgia O’Keeffe, the League has had many other famous students, such as Norman Rockwell and Jackson Pollock.
Black Place -   · Georgia named an area north of Ghost Ranch the "Black Place" because of the overwhelming presence of dark hills extending vertically into the sky. This area became the subject for many of her paintings.
Ghost Ranch  -   · The ranch in New Mexico where Georgia spent many of her summers, and eventually bought one of the ranch buildings in 1940. Georgia liked the remoteness of the ranch and the adjacent Carson National Forest.
Symbolism -   · An artistic technique that uses image or sign to represent something else.

People

Arthur Wesley Dow  -  Influenced by Impressionism and Oriental art, Dow (1857–1922) became a great artist and influential art educator by advocating the achievement of beauty and balance in composition, not solely the replication of nature. He also promoted arts and crafts, stating that they are just as important as fine arts.
Juan Hamilton -  Hamilton came to work for Georgia in 1973 and eventually became her companion, and student. He also helped her when she aged and represented her, to the dissatisfaction of some of her friends who viewed him as an intruder who was taking advantage of her. Nevertheless, O’Keeffe defended Hamilton and his relationship with her, saying that he came when she needed him.
Wassily Kandinsky  -  Author of Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky was famous for experimenting with abstraction. He had a significant role in the development of abstract art in the early 20th century.
Anita Pollitzer  -  A friend of O’Keeffe since they met at the Art Students League in 1914, Pollitzer kept in close contact with Georgia through the rest of her life. Her letters reveal a more intimate view of Georgia’s life than many other sources. Pollitzer eventually became an influential leader in the women’s rights movement.
Alfred Stieglitz  -  Artist and photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) produced many famous photographs of New York City and was an instrumental figure in the avant-garde of early American photography. He was active with the Camera Club of New York, edited the journal Camera Notes, published the journal Camera Work,and established the Photo-Secession group. As the director of the 291 gallery, and later the galleries An Intimate Gallery and An American Place, he created a meeting and exhibition space for modern artists by introducing works by upstarts such as Picasso and Matisse at a time when their art was rejected by mainstream art institutions.

Events

First Solo Exhibition  -  Between April 3 and May 14, 1917, Stieglitz presented Georgia’s first solo exhibition at 291 with artwork she produced in South Carolina and Texas. This exhibition included many of her abstractions and subjects such as canyons.
Retrospective Art Exhibition -  In January and February of 1943, the Art Institute of Chicago presented the first major retrospective of O’Keeffe’s work.

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