Georgia O’Keeffe’s unrecognized role as patron and collector
Marsden Hartley was another artist O’Keeffe deeply admired, and she once wrote that her work was akin to “a marching band in a little closet.” Both were deeply influenced by their local landscape and sense of place, sharing an appreciation for regions outside of major cities and portraying the sublime in styles that resonated emotionally and formally as opposed to realistic and demanding.
The story’s reliance on a clear, easily digestible narrative of Stieglitz as a focal point of the modernist art world is partly to blame for O’Keeffe’s lack of recognition. Stieglitz himself was a strong advocate for her, and their relationship was based on a sense of mutual respect. When he saw his works for the first time, he exclaimed: “Finally, a woman on paper! In his role as curator and dealer, Stieglitz lobbied for collectors and curators to give O’Keeffe and his work the same respect as other modern masters, all male, who demanded space on the walls. from 291. He has never hesitated to express his admiration for O’Keeffe, in letters filled with purple prose and sentiment that describe a man desperately in love. To illustrate this point, Reynolda’s wall text begins with an epigraph by Stieglitz: “She is the Spirit of 291, not I.” Stieglitz would echo this sentiment at An American Place, writing in a 1934 letter: “La place comes first – and Georgia has room.