Telegrams from the Southwest: Georgia O’Keeffe, August 1929

Telegrams from the Southwest: Georgia O’Keeffe, August 1929 PDF

Painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was a well-established and successful New York artist when, in 1929, she decided to take a road trip to New Mexico. Traveling with a friend, Rebecca Strand, O’Keeffe left her husband, photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, and drove west in April 1929 to spend the summer in Taos. The months O’Keeffe spent living in New Mexico and traveling in the region had profound effects on her creative work and changed the course of her life. She eventually made a home in New Mexico, a place where she found inspiration and community.  Some of her most beloved work famously depicts the mountainous landscapes, adobe structures, and sun-bleached bones of the American southwest. Throughout the summer of 1929, O’Keeffe and Stieglitz keep up a deeply engaged correspondence as O’Keeffe sought to remain connected to her husband even as she explored new physical and creative terrain. Telegrams O’Keeffe sent home in August, as she left Taos to explore the wider region (including a visit to the Grand Canyon in Arizona), express the painter’s enthusiasm for her new environment alongside her ongoing commitment to her marriage and shared life with Stieglitz. Telegrams, then among the few means of rapid communication across long distances, allowed O’Keeffe to keep Stieglitz informed of her whereabouts as she traveled. 

Alfred Stieglitz, photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe with automobile, 1935; Georgia O’Keeffe, telegrams to Alfred Stieglitz, August 1929, Alfred Stieglitz & Georgia O’Keeffe Archive


Photo of O’Keeffe with Car (Enclosed with autograph letter from Alfred Stieglitz, to Georgia O’Keeffe)

YCAL MSS 85 Box 72 Folder 1553


9 Telegrams

8 in YCAL MSS 85 box 85 Folders 1721 and 1722



1 in YCAL MSS 85 Box 95 folder 1865


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