Known mostly for her paintings of flowers, Georgia O’ Keeffe also took up the medium of photography in her later years. With no prior knowledge of taking pictures and two cameras in hand, she spent 30 years practicing with her good friend, Alfred Stieglitz.
O’ Keeffe used the backdrop of her home in New Mexico and the surrounding rugged environment. Besides the landscapes on view, there were images of her and Alfred, a few paintings and her two cameras; a Leica and a Polaroid.
I enjoyed the photos that were displayed with the interpretive paintings, it gave me a clue as to what O’ Keeffe saw when she took the picture. There was also a corner where one of her photographs of her home’s courtyard was placed on the entire wall and sounds of birds and wind were being played; it was a meditative environment.
Unfortunately, there was quite a few repeats of her photographs, especially of the latter against the wall of her courtyard. I would have preferred to see more photos matched with her paintings.
For not being trained as a photographer, O’ Keeffe did have an eye and you can see it with some of her landscapes. Viewing them you notice that she was looking for those linear lines that are found in many of her floral paintings.
In a 1962 interview, O’ Keeffe said “Stieglitz used to say I knew less about photography than anybody he ever knew. Yet, he’d trust my judgment of a print.” Seems like it’s never too late to pick up a side project.