1887-1986 Georgia O'Keefe was born in Wisconsin, USA. During her childhood she received art lessons and her artistic flair was recognized at an early age. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and later at the New York Art Students League under the direction of William Merritt Chase. In 1908, she won the League's William Merritt Chase still-life prize for her Untitled oil painting (Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot). In 1912 O'Keeffe enrolled in a summer course for art teachers at the University of Virginia. O'Keeffe's teacher, Alon Bement, introduced her to Arthur Wesley Dow, then a revolutionary artist and art educator. Dow's ideas offered O'Keeffe an alternative to imitative realism. She practiced Dow's ideas where she could express her own feelings and ideas and began a series of abstract charcoal drawings that are now recognized as some of the most innovative of the time in the US. O'Keeffe's work was first exhibited in 1917 by renowned photographer, Alfred Steiglitz, at his 291 Gallery in New York. She later fell in love with Steiglitz, and they married in 1924. After Steiglitz's death, O'Keefe moved to New Mexico where she spent the last forty years of her life. Here she found inspiration in the rugged surroundings. O'Keeffe's health deteriorated in 1984 and she died two years later, at the age of 98. O'Keeffe was a pioneer of modernism in America. She is recognised as the pre-eminent female American artist of the 20th century. O'Keeffe is best known for her bold paintings of flowers and plants. She worked in an exaggerated scale, reducing her subjects to their simplest form and colour. She is also known for her paintings of mountains, rocks, bones, sunsets and urban architecture. During her life O'Keeffe received numerous honours and awards, including the United States Medal of Freedom in 1977.
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