Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stieglitz and O'Keeffe

He was a photographer. She was an up-and-coming painter. A 24-year age difference separated the two, but that was no matter for Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe. From the 1915 to 1946, the pair exchanged more than 25,000 letters, often two or three a day and up to 40 pages long. This correspondence is a testament to their relationship, and just recently the first volume of those letters was published. My Faraway One, edited by Sarah Greenough, is more than 700 pages and depicts the ups and downs of their modern-day artistic romance. For O’Keeffe, what began as an infatuation soon turned into a deep love. She wrote, “I’m getting to like you so tremendously that it sometimes scares me,” even in the early stages of their relationship, nearly a year after they first met. Stieglitz should receive some of the credit for O’Keeffe’s fame, for he was the one who first exhibited her work. In 1918, he wrote, “your letter—it’s beautiful—it’s full of passion—the Woman’s Soul—Crying for Completeness—Heart Rending—Like your work—heartrendingly beautiful.” So if you’re looking for a good read head down to your local library and take a look at My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.

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