An Artist's Perspective: Georgia O'Keeffe's Art Through Words

Mar 27, 2019

Saturday, March 30, will mark the opening of the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Wichita Art Museum.

To honor the occasion I will read a few passages from her letters to her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, taken from the book My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, edited by Sarah Greenough.

November 4, 1916:

Tonight I’d like to paint the world with a broom—and I think I’d like great buckets of color like Hartley’s to start at it with—lots of red—vermilion—and I don’t want to be careful of the floor—I just want to splash.

August 3, 1930:

And sometimes a huge fat mountain—with much dark green on it grows right up out of the barren pinkness—and always here and there soft hills like I tried to paint—only sometimes long stretches of them outlined pale against the burning blue sky—trees a bright yellow green here and there along the river—but the principle feeling of it all is grand dry barrenness. And those blue mountains all around—it all seems like the heart of something—I felt right in the center of something oh-so big—but God only knows what.

And finally, I think this being one of her finest endings, written on August 8, 1930:

A good night kiss to you—I wish you could see and smell the desert at night when it is wet—it is indescribable—A soft sweet kiss to you—like the moisture on my face out there in the night—Good night.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style is at the Wichita Art Museum March 30 through June 23.

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