Georgia O'Keeffe photographed 򝖄 by Alfred Stieglitz

Georgia O'Keeffe
1887 - 1986

(To Georgia)

A page by Ann-Mette Heindorff , DK 

    It is a particular pleasure for me to contribute this page also to PASIC (Paintings and Arts on Stamps Internet Club), as a tribute to modern American art in opposition to the classical arts being prevalent on PASIC's pages.
    In spite of the fact that Georgia O'Keeffe is widely considered by critics and art historians to be one of the most important American artists of the 20th century, the USPS up to now only issued one stamp featuring one of her well-known flower paintings.  The stamp is shown immediately above, top right, and was issued in 1996, ten years after her death.  The title of the art work is "Red Poppy". 
    Instead of displaying colourful stamps I would therefore like to show a selection of her paintings, hoping that you will like them as much as I do.  Please point your mouse to the images for additional information. 

Georgia O'Keeffe:  Red Canna, c. 1920, watercolour on paper.  Yale University Art Gallery

Her active career began in the 1910s and continued into the late 1970s, but the paintings for which she is most well known today were completed from the mid-1920s through the 1940s. These works are characterized by subject matter that has become instantly associated with O'Keeffe - flowers, bones, and New Mexico landscapes. In 1916, however, when her work was first exhibited by Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) - and whom she later married - whose innovations in photography and early support of modern art in America are well know, it was not as obviously dependent on imagery derived from the natural world.  O'Keeffe had received instruction in drawing and painting as a child in Wisconsin, and by 1915 she had attended classes at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students League in New York, and Teachers College, Columbia University.  In that hear, however, she consciously rejected aspects of her formal training in order to make personal experience the subject of her art. 

    Georgia O'Keeffe mastered all medias available; watercolour, pastel, oil.  Her early works are mostly watercolour or pastels, and are considered school works. Only her late works are painted in oil, with which one can really make wonders in fading out or emphasizing colours so that they come as close to nature as possible.  

Georgia O'Keeffe:  "Pink Sweat Pears", pastel on paper, 1927 Georgia O'Keeffe:  "Winter Cottonwoods East".  Oil on Canvas, 1934

    The above work "Red Canna" is a watercolour belonging  to the Art Gallery of Yale University.  Together with the two works in pastel and oil respectively, all of an almost organic appearance,  they display her talents perfectly in different media of totally different nature.

Georgia O'Keeffe:  "Deer's Skull with Pedernal".  Oil painting 1936. Georgia O'Keeffe:  "Hills and Mesa to the West".  Oil Painting 1945. Georgia O'Keeffe:  "Black Place Green".  Oil Painting 1949.

     The painting to the left juxtaposes two forms that O'Keeffe came to know well in New Mexico: An animal skull that she probably found in the desert and the Pedernal, the flat-topped mountain that dominates the view to the south from her Ghost Ranch house.
    The brilliant colours found in landscape forms (middle) near O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch house in New Mexico inspired many of her paintings of the 1940s.
    O'Keeffe was fascinated by an area of grey black landscape forms in the Navajo country (right) of northwestern New Mexico that she discovered in the 1940s and made it the subject of at least twelve paintings.

Georgia O'Keeffe:  "Lake George", 1924.  Oil on Canvas.

      This page can be concluded by nothing else than a painting from Ms. O'Keeffe's much beloved Lake George, whose solitude and wild nature she depicted on numerous paintings throughout her life.  

Sources:

  • Barbara Buhler Lynes (Rizzoli Art Series): Georgia O'Keeffe

  • Jack Cowart & Juan Hamilton (National Gallery of Art, Washington): 
    Georgia O'Keeffe, Art and Letters 

  • Charles C. Eldridge (Smithsonian Institution): Georgia O'Keeffe 

     Personally I would be more than pleased to see one or more of Ms. O'Keeffe's paintings of which the clear colours and nearly graphic nature are so well fit for being reproduced in small format on stamps.  Let's hope that the USPS-officials will visit this page and have inspiration for future stamp issues.

     Note: this page, written for this site, initially appeared under the pseudonym George Kringelbach. Published by permission of the author.  


First published: Nov. 2000. Revised: Jan. 2014 
Copyright 2000-2014  by A.M. Heindorff, DK
This version: Copyright © 2000-2014
by Victor Manta, Switzerland.
All rights reserved worldwide.


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