Exotic, imposing florals and sere desert scenes may come to mind at mention of modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), although her inventive readings of nature assume an astonishing range of forms. O’Keeffe’s startling, emotional images depicting her deep feeling for the natural world made her a superstar in the art world.
A farm near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, was the birthplace of O’Keeffe. The prairie soil was productive for her father Francis, and from early days she had a connection with the land: “I remembered the beautiful fields of grain and wheat out there—like snow—only yellow … in spring. … They were plowing and there were patterns of plowed ground and patches where things were growing.” (Robinson R. Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. New York, NY: HarperCollins; 1989:3.) This familiarity with the earth and its rhythms would be reflected in the native motifs seen in her work.
Smith JM. Chicken in SunriseGeorgia O’Keeffe. JAMA. 2013;310(6):564-565. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5249