The Places of Georgia O'Keeffe

Sunset Light on Piedre Lumbre near Ghost Ranch. a.v.ley/ Moment Open/ Getty Images

Georgia O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887- March 6, 1986), an iconic artist most famous for her large-scale close-up paintings of flowers and for her paintings capturing the spirit of the American Southwest, was born and raised on a farm in Wisconsin. She later spent time in Virginia, Texas, New York, and finally New Mexico, where she visited, stayed, and moved permanently in 1949.

For more about her life see the article, Georgia O'Keeffe.  

For lovers of O'Keeffe, the books listed below help give a fuller sense of how O'Keeffe responded to the places important to her:

Georgia O'Keeffe: The New York Years, by Georgia O'Keeffe, Knopf, 1991

​This book includes architectural paintings that O'Keeffe did during the years 1916-1932 of New York City skyscrapers as well as barns and birches of Lake George, where she and her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, spent a portion of each year. 

Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George, by Erin B. Coe and Bruce Robertson, Thames and Hudson, 2013

This beautiful book is based on an exhibit at the Hyde Museum, in Glen Falls, New York, of paintings O'Keeffe did while at Lake George with her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, from 1918 to the 1930s. It includes three essays about the influence of the Lake George landscape on O'Keeffe, as well as 124 illustrations ranging from botanical still life, to paintings of pears and apples O'Keeffe picked, to panoramic landscapes.

Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawai'i, by Patricia Jennings and Maria Ausherman, Koa Books, 2012

In 1939 the Dole Pineapple Company hired Georgia O'Keeffe to go to Hawaii to paint two canvases. At first reluctant, O'Keeffe accepted and ended up staying for nine weeks, producing twenty relatively unknown paintings of the plants and landscapes of Hawaii. She was hosted by the author's family on Maui for two weeks when the author was just twelve years old, and in this book Jennings tells about her time with O'Keeffe and the friendship and understanding that developed between them. The book consists of beautiful color reproductions of the paintings, as well as personal notes of O'Keeffe and letters to Alfred Stieglitz describing her visit.

Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: A Sense of Place [Hardcover]

Barbara Buhler Lynes (Author), Lesley Poling-Kempes (Author), Frederick W. Turner (Author), Princeton university press, 2004

This beautiful book emanated from an exhibit at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The book highlights the New Mexico landscapes O'Keeffe painted by juxtaposing photographs of the actual landscapes alongside her paintings of them. The book includes an essay by the curator of the museum, Barbara Buhler Lynes, discussing the relationship of O'Keeffe's paintings to the landscapes that inspired her, along with two others essays, one discussing the geology of the area that produced the vivid colors and unique shapes of the landscape. New Mexico is truly a beautiful and unique place, and this book helps to bring it to the viewer as though seeing it through the eyes of O'Keeffe, herself.

Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Houses: Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu [Hardcover]
Barbara Buhler Lynes (Author), Agapita Lopez (Author)
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 1, 2012)

In 1934, after having spent a portion of almost every year since 1929 in New Mexico, O'Keeffe finally moved into a house on Ghost Ranch, north of Abiquiu, searching for a place of rest and respite from the pace of life in New York. In 1945 she also bought a second house, an adobe house in Abiquiu, which was renovated in 1949. This book is filled with wonderful photographs of both houses along with pictures of O'Keeffe living and working in them, and beautiful color reproductions of the paintings that were inspired by these places. This book gives the reader a wonderful glimpse into the remarkable life of O'Keeffe.

For more about the influences on O'Keeffe's art read The Influence of Photography and Surrealism on Georgia O'Keeffe and The Influence of Zen Buddhism on Georgia O'Keeffe.