Georgia O`Keeffe

The Marriott Hotel Home, New York

Due to my work I am one of the lucky people who has the opportunity to stay for short periods in various cities around the globe, and mostly the Hotels we stay in are the best around, and depending where we are, the flavour is often special.

I remember a stay in the Hilton Amsterdam where John Lennon had stayed, and had a week in bed to “Give Peace a Chance”, but a recent stay in the Marriott Eastside Hotel, New York caught my eye.

Georgia O'Keefe, 1918 photograph by Alfred Stieglitz

Georgia O`Keeffe lived here for 10 years!

I remember, she was the lady who painted the large scale flowers, and in particular “The Petunia”, and when she painted that particular piece, she was living in a suite on the 32nd floor of the very hotel I was staying in.

Georgia O`Keeffe was born in 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. She studied art in Chicago, and New York, and became an Art Teacher at Columbia College, South Carolina.

One of her friends had shown some of her works to Alfred Stieglitz the photographer. She came to New York, and there the two eventually married, and moved later into the Shelton Hotel, Lexington Avenue, which is now called the Marriott Hotel, Eastside.

The Petunia picture was painted in 1924, and was one of a large number of her works that were exhibited in 1925.

Her husband Alfred Steiglitz died in 1946, after which she moved to an isolated ranch in New Mexico, but she continued to produce great works. Paintings of Desert Cliffs, Animal Bones, and Flowers are among the worlds most admired works of art, and she continued to draw, paint and sculpt until her death in 1986, aged 98.

Petunia - 1925

I rather liked a comment she made at the age of 90.

Success takes more than talent. It takes a kind of nerve.”

And a lot of hard, hard work, if you ask me!

By Bob Derham

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