Georgia O’Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe photographed by Steiglitz

My senior thesis in college was based on this photo of O’Keefe photographed by her lover, Alfred Steiglitz. I was always captivated by her paintings and I believe her depiction of clouds hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago (where she studied painting briefly) and took my breath away when I last visited. You probably know her paintings. You may even know them well. Lilies, White Lilies, Orange and very vaginal flowers.


Her hands are what captivated me. I choreographed a dance with lovely dancers throwing their hands against a wall to try and depict this scene. Her hands held so much emotion, grace, knowledge, trust.


It was not a successful piece, but I graduated and I don’t believe there is video of it but I bet the dancers remembering rehearsals when I made them silently laugh and cry simultaneously. (?)

Georgia O’Keefe lived to be 98 years old. She was the daughter of dairy farmers and married Alfred Stieglitz, suffered from depression and anxiety.  President Gerald Ford awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Not that this is anything to cry home about, but the 2009 lifetime movie about her is pretty great and also stars Kathy Bates.


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