Today in History
November 15, 1887
Georgia O'Keeffe is born in the small town of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. She shows an early propensity for painting, and enrolls at the Art Institute of Chicago after high school. After a decade of supporting herself largely through teaching and commercial art, her life changes when photographer and gallery owner Alfred Stieglitz gives her a show in 1916. They fall in love – although they do not marry until 1924, after his divorce – and also begin a long artistic partnership. Stieglitz helps O'Keeffe promote and exhibit her work, and she becomes his model for hundreds of photographic portraits. O'Keeffe's colorful, slightly abstract paintings, which often focus on natural subjects like an animal skull or a single flower at close range, become widely popular. She keeps painting until her vision fails in her mid-80s, and dies at age 98 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a setting that inspired many of her later works.
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