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Georgia O'Keeffe

A Life

Roxana Robinson

One of the greatest and most admired artists of the twentieth century, Georgia O’Keeffe led a life rich in intense relationships—with family, friends, and especially with fellow artist Alfred Stieglitz. Her extraordinary accomplishments, such as the often eroticized flowers, bones, stones, skulls, and pelvises she painted with such command, are all the more remarkable when seen in the context of the struggle she waged between the rigorous demands of love and work. When Roxana Robinson’s definitive biography of O’Keeffe was first published in 1989, it received rave reviews and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. This new edition features a new foreword by the author setting O’Keefe in an artistic context over the last thirty years since the book was first published, as well as previously unpublished letters of the young O’Keeffe to her lover, Arthur MacMahon. It also relates the story of Robinson’s own encounter with the artist. As interest in O’Keeffe continues to grow among museum-goers and scholars alike, this book remains indispensable for understanding her life and art.

Cover Image of Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life
Paper: $35 | E-book: $30
ISBN-13: 9781684580323
Pages: 744 | Size: 6.125 in. x 9.125 in.
Date Published: October 1, 2020
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This is without question the best book ever written on O’Keeffe, and an invaluable resource not only for scholars but for the general public. It is accurate, insightful, and beautifully written.

The New Yorker
Calvin Tomkins

Reviews

  • This is without question the best book ever written on O'Keeffe, and an invaluable resource not only for scholars but for the general public. It is accurate, insightful, and beautifully written.

    The New Yorker
    Calvin Tomkins
  • Does much to give body to the O'Keeffe myth. The author presents a person who was both vulnerable and fierce, passionate and coolly withholding, sensuous yet oddly unsexual. Benefiting from the O'Keeffe family's cooperation, Ms. Robinson…draws on correspondence that was inaccessible to scholars during the artist's lifetime. Ms. Robinson assiduously interviewed people who knew O'Keeffe and deftly collated masses of information.

    New York Times Book Review
  • Chockablock with intriguing detail, some apt insight, and the best of all, O'Keeffe's own voice -- in her letters and in the words of her family and friends who wouldn't talk to anyone before the artist's death at the age of 98 in 1986. It gives us the first sensible discussion of how photography influenced O'Keeffe's painting -- her closeups, wide angles, cropping, distortion of scale, and zooms.

    Ms. Magazine
  • Robinson’s detailed, sensitive critique of O’Keeffe’s work alternates with an absorbing, intimate narrative of O’Keeffe’s personal life (including her notorious relationship with Juan Hamilton, six decades her junior, and the public battle over her estate) to provide a resourceful, imaginatively rendered portrait of a dauntingly difficult subject.

    Publishers Weekly
  • The most comprehensive O’Keeffe biography to date, this essentially feminist reading convincingly builds its case from a wealth of sources . . . to explain less the woman-behind-the-myth than how and why the woman herself became myth-maker.

    Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Roxana Robinson is an art historian and novelist. Among her books of fiction are This Is My Daughter, Asking for Love and Other Stories, Summer Light, and A Glimpse of Scarlet.

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