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Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia Totto O'Keeffe 1887 – 1986 was an American artist, best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, and New Mexico landscapes . She has been recognized as the "Mother of American Modernism".O'Keeffe was born in 1887,in a farmhouse in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Her parents, Francis Calyxtus O'Keeffe and Ida (Totto) O'Keeffe, were dairy farmers of Irish descent and her maternal grandfather, George Victor Totto, for whom O'Keeffe was named, was a Hungarian count who came to the United States in 1848.

In 1905, O'Keeffe began her serious formal art training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and then the Art Students League of New York, but she felt constrained by her lessons that focused on recreating nature. After several years of teaching and working as an illustrator, in 1914 O'Keeffe began creating simplified images of natural things, such as leaves, flowers, and rocks. Inspired by Precisionism, The Green Apple, completed in 1922, depicted her notion of a simple, meaningful life. O'Keeffe said "it is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things."

Georgia O'Keeffe was the first woman artist to have a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. O'Keeffe was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1966 was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among her awards and honors, she received an honorary degree from Harvard University, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor awarded to American civilians .In 1985, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts .