Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico Connection

When Georgia O’Keeffe was 42 she was coming into her own with exhibitions in major museums around the country. Around this time her love of New Mexico was growing stronger and she spent less time in New York with her husband Alfred Stieglitz. O’Keeffe first came to New Mexico at the invitation of Mabel Dodge Luhan in 1929. Luhan was a wealthy oil industry heiress from New York who liked to surround herself with creative people. She was responsible for starting New Mexico’s first art colony later in the 1800s. Stieglitz took this photo of O’Keeffe after one of her visits to New Mexico.   

Infatuation & Fate for Two Artists

In 1916 Georgia O’Keeffe went to see an exhibit at the 291 Gallery of the work of Marsden Hartley. That’s where she met Alfred Stieglitz, the owner of the gallery. O’Keeffe, who was born in 1887, had been an art school teacher in Texas. When she came to New York she was just starting her career as an artist. Stieglitz, who was 24 years older than O’Keeffe, became  enamored with her both artistically and emotionally. Soon after they met they began an affair and had an exhibit of her work at the 291 Gallery. Stieglitz divorced his first wife and married O’Keeffe in 1924.

Life After Death for Georgia

In 1946 Georgia O’Keeffe came to live permanently in New Mexico after the death Alfred Stieglitz. O’Keeffe is the most widely recognized female artist of the 20th century whose name has become synonymous with the forever changing breathtaking landscapes of New Mexico. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which opened in Santa Fe in 1997, is the most widely visited cultural institution in the state.  The artist’s legacy was propelled early on by her biggest fan, her husband and fellow artist, Alfred Stieglitz.


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