Georgia O’Keeffe joined the ranks of America’s leading modernists in 1916 with her first exhibition at 291, the New York gallery of celebrated photographer and arts impresario Alfred Stieglitz. Inspired by the avant-garde theories of artist and teacher Arthur Wesley Dow—who championed the expressive use of line, color, and tonality—the classically schooled O’Keeffe readily abandoned realism for the creative possibilities of abstraction. Her career flourished under the mentorship of Stieglitz, who introduced the public to her evocative paintings in annual exhibitions from 1923 to 1946. After marrying Stieglitz in 1924, O’Keeffe maintained a strong level of personal and artistic independence. Beginning in 1929, she lived and worked for extended periods in New Mexico, where she settled permanently after Stieglitz’s death in 1946. It was there that she created many of her most iconic works.
O’Keeffe’s austere adobe home in Abiquiu, New Mexico, provided the setting for Karsh’s profile study of the artist.