Nov. 15, 1887
While Georgia O'Keeffe was a student at the Art Student League, a male
student at the League asked her to pose for him. She looked annoyed
at his request and he commented, "It doesn't matter what you do,
I'm going to be a great painter and you will probably end up teaching
painting in some girls' school."
went on to become one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.
She has had major shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern
Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Whitney. She was elected to
the 50-member American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest honor
possible for an artist.
However, in the
year after being asked to pose for the art student she was discouraged
with her work. During this period Georgia O'Keeffe did not pick up a
brush, and said that the smell of turpentine made her sick.
Slowly she taught
herself to paint again, unlearning everything she had been taught in
art school and teaching herself instead how she saw the world. When
Alfred Stieglitz, a famous art gallery owner, first saw her work he
remarked, "At last, a woman on paper!"
In 1971 Georgia
O'Keeffe began to go blind. She stopped painting in 1972.
She died on March
6, 1986, at the age of 98.
- Elected to the
50-member American Academy of Arts and Letters
- First retrospective
of a woman's art at the Museum of Modern Art
- Gold Medal of
Painting from the National Institute of Arts and Letters
- Medal of Freedom,
the nation's highest civilian honor
- National Medal
of Arts, 1985, presented by President Ronald Reagan
"I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught
me...shapes and ideas so near to me."