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My Faraway One

My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933

Selected, Annotated, and Edited by SARAH GREENOUGH
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 832
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    My Faraway One
    Book Description:

    There are few couples in the history of 20th-century American art and culture more prominent than Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) and Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). Between 1915, when they first began to write to each other, and 1946, when Stieglitz died, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz exchanged over 5,000 letters (more than 25,000 pages) that describe their daily lives in profoundly rich detail. This long-awaited volume features some 650 letters, carefully selected and annotated by leading photography scholar Sarah Greenough.

    In O'Keeffe's sparse and vibrant style and Stieglitz's fervent and lyrical manner, the letters describe how they met and fell in love in the 1910s; how they carved out a life together in the 1920s; how their relationship nearly collapsed during the early years of the Depression; and how it was reconstructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. At the same time, the correspondence reveals the creative evolution of their art and ideas; their friendships with many of the most influential figures in early American modernism (Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and Paul Strand, to name a few); and their relationships and conversations with an exceptionally wide range of key figures in American and European art and culture (including Duncan Phillips, Diego Rivera, D. H. Lawrence, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Marcel Duchamp). Furthermore, their often poignant prose reveals insights into the impact of larger cultural forces-World Wars I and II; the booming economy of the 1920s; and the Depression of the 1930s-on two articulate, creative individuals.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16644-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xiv)

    Passionate and poetic, vivid and compelling, the letters between Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz are a profoundly moving account of the lives of two of this country’s most celebrated artists and an exceptionally important source of information on twentieth-century American art and culture. Between 1915, when they first began to write to each other, and 1946, when Stieglitz died, they exchanged more than 25,000 pages of letters that describe in unimaginably rich detail their daily lives in New York, Texas, and New Mexico during the many months they were apart. In language that is sparse and vibrant (O’Keeffe), fervent and...

  4. Note to the Reader
    (pp. xv-xvii)
  5. 1. All the World Greets You, 1915–1918
    (pp. 1-311)

    Soon after Georgia O’Keeffe arrived in South Carolina in the fall of 1915, she reached a critical juncture in the evolution of her art. Rejecting all her earlier work, she realized she could not “spend my life doing what had already been done,” and she embarked on a series of abstract charcoal drawings.¹ These pieces reveal her study of Japanese art and art nouveau, as well as the ideas of the Russian Wassily Kandinsky and the Americans Arthur Wesley Dow, Marsden Hartley, and Arthur Dove, though her drawings were also highly inventive. Eager for critical reaction, she sent some to...

  6. 2. The Kiss That Is My Life, 1919–1928
    (pp. 313-403)

    As soon as O’Keeffe moved to New York in 1918, she and Stieglitz forged a relationship that was centered on their all-consuming love, their art, and their deep respect for each other. In the last three years, they had come to know each other’s emotional terrain through the letters they had exchanged, but they soon discovered that they shared many traits: both voraciously imbibed the world around them, responding immediately, even viscerally, to the people, places, art, and especially the nature they encountered; both were articulate and opinionated—Stieglitz, verbose, O’Keeffe, dry and pointed; and both sought perfection in everything...

  7. 3. A Terrible Rightness, 1929–1933
    (pp. 405-740)

    In the summer of 1929 O’Keeffe fell “into something,” as she wrote, “from which there is no return.”¹ Still deeply in love with Stieglitz, she had been increasingly torn in the 1920s between her desire to work to “carry the thing I do further so that people are surprised again”² and the obligation she felt to care for Stieglitz and his family, especially during their long summers at Lake George. Yet the exhilaration she discovered during her trip to Wisconsin in July and August 1928, coupled with the inspiration she derived from the midwestern landscape and the joy she received...

  8. Biographical Dictionary
    (pp. 741-772)
  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 773-776)
  10. Concordance of Artworks by Stieglitz and O’Keeffe
    (pp. 777-782)
  11. Index
    (pp. 783-814)