Thursday, December 12, 2019
Georgia Totto OKeeffe Biography Essay Example For Students
Georgia Totto OKeeffe Biography Essay Georgia Totto OKeeffe was born in the year on November 15, 1887. She was one of seven children and spent most of her childhood on a farm, with the typical farm animals and rolling hills. OKeeffes aunt, not her mother, was mostly responsible for raising her. OKeeffe did not care much for her aunt, she once referred to her as, the headache of my life. She did, however, have some admiration for her aunts strict and self disciplined character. OKeeffe was given her own room and less responsibility. The younger sisters had to do more chores and share close living conditions. A younger sister stated that OKeeffe always wanted things her way, and if she didnt get them her way, shed raise the devil. It was found through family and friends that OKeeffe was like this throughout much of her life. OKeeffe began her training early with private art lessons at home. The foundation of her future as an artist was made. When OKeeffe was in the eighth grade she asked a daughter of a farm employee what she was going to do when she grew up. The girl said she didnt know. OKeeffe replied very definitely, I am going to be an artist! I dont really know where I got my artist idea I only know that by that time it was definitely settled in my mind. She entered the Sacred Heart Academy, an art school in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1901. At school she discovered her blooming talent for artwork. Her art seemed to be the only stable element in OKeeffes younger life. In 1902 her parents moved to Virginia and were joined by the children in 1903. By the age of 16, OKeeffe had 5 years of private art lessons at various schools in Wisconsin and Virginia. One particular teacher, Elizabeth Willis, encouraged her to work at her own pace and granted her opportunities that the other students felt were unfair. At times she would work intensely, and at other times she would not work for days. When it was brought to the attention of the principal, she would reply When the spirit moves Georgia, she can do more in a day than you can do in a week. After receiving her diploma in 1905 she left for Chicago to live with her aunt and attend the Art Institute of Chicago. She did not return to the Institute the following year after getting Typhoid Fever. Instead, in 1907 she enrolled at the Art Student League in New York City. Discouraged with her work, she did not return to the League in the fall of 1908, but moved back to Chicago and found work as a commercial artist. During this period OKeeffe did not pick up a brush, and said that the smell of turpentine made her sick. She moved back to her family in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1909 and later enrolled at a nearby college. In 1912 a friend in Texas wrote to her explaining of a teaching position was open in Amarillo, Texas for a drawing supervisor. OKeeffe applied for the position and was hired for the fall semester. OKeeffe also made trips to Virginia in the summer months to teach at the University of Virginia. She would remain working at Amarillo until 1914. After resigning her job in Amarillo, OKeeffe moved to New York City to attend Columbia Teachers College until accepting a teaching position at Columbia College in South Carolina. Having a light schedule, she felt it would be an ideal job that would give her time to paint. It was at this time that she left behind all she had been taught about in regards to painting and began to paint as she felt. I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me shapes and ideas so near to me o natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasnt occurred to me to put them down During her summers, she studied and taught art at the University of Virginia, working with Alon Bement, who introduced her to the theories of Arthur Wesley Dow. Returning to New York in 1914, she enrolled at Columbia Teachers College to study under Dow, whom she later credited as the strongest influence on the development of her art. In 1916, OKeeffes friend A nita Politzer showed some of these abstract drawings to photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who exhibited them at his avant garde gallery 291, on Fifth Avenue in New York. Evaluation of Two Paintings EssayOKeeffes financial success would finally prove to her that an artist could make a living with a paintbrush. In 1925 she and Stieglitz moved to the Shelton Hotel in New York, taking an apartment on the 30th floor of the new building. They would live here for 12 years. With such a spectacular view, Georgia began to paint the city. By 1928 OKeeffe began to feel the need to travel and to find other sources for painting. The demands of an annual show needed new material. Friends returning from the West with stories stimulated Georgias desire to see and explore new places. Alfred had no desire to leave New York and Lake George e hated change of any type. In May of 1929, Georgia would set out by train with her friend, Beck Strand, to Taos, New Mexico a trip that would forever change her life. Georgia found that the thin, dry air enabled her to see farther and at times could see several approaching thunderstorms in the distance at once. She affectionately r eferred to the land of northern New Mexico as the faraway, better defined as a place of stark beauty and infinite space. Soon after their arrival, Georgia and Beck where invited to stay at Mable Dodge Luhans ranch outside of Taos for the summer. She would go on many backpacking trips exploring the rugged mountains and deserts of the region. On one trip she visited the D. H. Lawrence ranch and spent several weeks there. While in Taos she visited the historical mission church at Ranchos de Taos. Although she painted the church as many artists had done before, her painting of only a fragment of the mission wall silhouetted against the dark blue sky would portray it as no artist had before. I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at ot copy it. Being a loner, Georgia wanted to explore this wonderful place on her own. She bought a Model A Ford and asked others to teach her how to drive. After one particularly exasperating moment, one of her teachers declared that she was unable to learn the art of driving. Only her determination was to lead to mastering her machine. In her yearly vis its to New Mexico she would travel the back roads in the Model A ford. OKeeffe remodeled her vehicle. She removed the backseat, and would unbolt the front seat, and turned it around so that she could prop her canvas against the back wall of the car. Georgia would return to New Mexico, which she considered her land, each summer until Stieglitzs death in 1946. OKeeffe spent three years in the city settling his estate. In 1949 at the of age 62, she made New Mexico her permanent residence. She dividing her time between her summer home at Ghost Ranch and an adobe house she had renovated in the historic village of Abiquiu. OKeeffe traveled internationally, painted and continued to enjoy her status as a supreme American artist. To add to her accomplishments, in 1977, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Gerald R. Ford. The final days of OKeeffes life were spent in her home. She was well into her 90s and was tired with life. One friend stated that when visiting her had asking of her current condition, OKeeffe stated its time for me to go.. By this time she had lost most of her sight, and could only hold onto her art by sculpting and working with ceramics. However the results were unsatisfactory to her. As her health began to fail, many people remarked at her solid grasp on reality, and her calm peace of mind. She would not make it to her 100th birthday, she died on March 7, 1986, shortly after entering a Santa Fe hospital. She was 98.