Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) was born in Wisconsin and moved to Virginia during her high school years. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, and then worked as an illustrator in Chicago. After an illness, she returned to Virginia and became a Teaching Assistant at the University of Virginia.
Later, while living and teaching in Texas, O'Keeffe was introduced to Alfred Stieglitz who took great interest in her work. They married in 1924. O'Keeffe is the subject of volumes of Stieglitz photographs, many nude, which created a public sensation and no doubt fueled the critics claim that sexuality was central to her work. A fervent supporter, Stieglitz organized annual O'Keeffe exhibitions at his gallery and elsewhere. She was honored with two one-woman retrospectives, one at the Art Institute of Chicago (1943) and another at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1946).
O'Keeffe lived in New York with Stieglitz until just after his death in 1946. She then moved permanently to her beloved New Mexico where she had spent many prior summers. She completed her last oil painting (The Beyond) in 1972; learned to work with clay in 1974; and continued to use watercolor and charcoal until 1978, and graphite until 1984.
O'Keeffe is most closely associated with the American Southwest based on her abstract yet representational paintings of the area's nature and landscapes. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe now houses much of her collection and papers, and is a repository for her artistic legacy.