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Georgia O'Keefe: Autumn Leaves, Lake George, New York: 1924. Published in Amsterdam. Postcard.

Georgia O'Keefe: Autumn Leaves, Lake George, New York: 1924. Postcard.

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Georgia O'Keeffe (1887 – 1986) was an American artist. Born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, O'Keeffe was a major figure in American art from the 1920s. She received widespread recognition for her technical contributions, as well as for challenging the boundaries of modern American artistic style. She is chiefly known for paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones, and landscapes in which she synthesized abstraction and representation. Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors. She often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images.

O'Keeffe played a central role in bringing an American art style to Europe at a time when the majority of influence flowed in the opposite direction. This feat enhanced her art-historical importance given that she was one of few women to have gained entry to this level of professional influence. She found artistic inspiration in the rural Southwest, particularly in New Mexico, where she settled late in life.

In 1962, O'Keeffe was elected to the fifty-member American Academy of Arts and Letters. In the fall of 1970, the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted the Georgia O'Keeffe Retrospective Exhibition, the first major showing of her work since 1946. This exhibit did much to revive her public career. It brought O'Keeffe to the attention of a new generation of women raised on the principles of feminism.

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