How Georgia Became O'Keeffe

How Georgia Became O'Keeffe

Lessons on the Art of Living

Book - 2012
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A fresh, revealing look at the artist who continues to inspire new generations of women


Most people associate Georgia O'Keeffe with New Mexico, painted cow skulls, and her “vagina" flower paintings. She was revered for so long—born in 1887, died at age ninety-eight in 1986—that we forget how young, restless, passionate, searching, striking, even fearful she once was—a dazzling, mysterious female force in bohemian New York City during its heyday.


In this monumental book, Karen Karbo cracks open the O'Keeffe icon in her characteristic style, making one of the greatest women painters in American history vital and relevant for yet another generation. She chronicles O'Keeffe's early life, her desire to be an artist, and the key moment when art became her form of self-expression. She also explores O'Keeffe's passionate love affair with master photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who took a series of 500 black-and-white photographs of O'Keeffe during the early years of their marriage.


According to O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living delves into the long, extraordinary life of the renowned American painter, exploring a range of universal themes—from how to discover and nurture your individuality to what it means to be in a committed relationship while maintaining your independence, from finding your own style to developing the ability to take risks. Each chapter is built around an aspect of living that concerns women today of all ages: how to find your own path; work with passion and conviction; express yourself; be in a relationship without sacrificing your sense of self; and do it all with an effortless, unique style.


As with Karbo's previous books, According to O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living is not a tradition biography, but rather a compelling, contemporary reassessment of the life of O'Keeffe with an eye towards understanding what we can learn from her way of being in the world. 

Publisher: Guilford, Conn. : Skirt!, c2012.
ISBN: 9780762771318
Branch Call Number: 759. 13 OKE K
Characteristics: 231 p. ; 20 cm.


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Feb 01, 2015

I'm not quite sure what I expected from this book, but I must say that I found it very disappointing. The author's personal commentary and advice are annoying, often contradictory and give the impression that she did not take her research seriously. If you are looking for a good biography on O'Keeffe or want to know more about her philosophy of art and aesthetics, then don't read this book!!!

May 24, 2014

Quirky, often hilarious, and surprisingly informative combination of bio and self-help book. Hardly the "monumental" book of the library's description - no, How Georgia Became O'Keeffe doesn't take itself that seriously. A quick, fun read that made me want to go out for a pitcher of margaritas with the author.

Jan 18, 2014

Amusing irreverent look at the life of Georgia O'Keefe and her life lessons for women today. Definitely written for women. Contains the highlights of her life and her motivations and is a quick read. The book does not contain the superfluous language of an art historian. A quick read if you are interested.


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Apr 22, 2014

"For O'Keeffe, forty was the new sixty. She had no problem being known for decades as the old lady in the desert with an affinity for cow skulls..."

Apr 22, 2014

*I hope I'm not the only one who has to keep reminding herself that this is not the study of hags, but writings on the saints. The term has come to mean the way that some biographers fawn embarrassingly over their subjects."

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