Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Edward Aiken

Capstone Major

Art and Music Histories

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

American Art and Architecture | Art and Design | Fine Arts | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Modern Art and Architecture


Statement Question: How did the evolution of the artists’ relationship affect their individual work?

  • With an emphasis the couple’s public and private persona, and its development over time.

The work begins with a brief biography of both artists, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe; providing an overview of their childhoods, education, and work, during the development of Modernism in the first half of the twentieth century. The work emphasizes the process by which Stieglitz facilitated the transition from pictorialism to modernism, his development of the period’s ideal female artist, and the opening of his famed avant-garde galleries. The work will also provide a deeper understanding of the artists’ aesthetics through the examination of their work, and their personal exhibition catalogue writings. It concludes with a critical analysis of the artists’ relationship, their influence on one another’s work, and how their romantic affiliation affected their both their public and private image as a part of the contemporary art scene.

Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe had a relationship born out of passion, and founded on the mutual respect for each other’s artistic talents. While Stieglitz carefully cultivated O’Keeffe’s public image, she served as his most inspired muse. Their works were often similar in subject matter, and obviously evolved with their relationship. This evolution is apparent especially through Stieglitz’s portraits of O’Keeffe. Over time, O’Keeffe became more independent of Stieglitz, she took control of her own persona, and advantage of her new found fame. Eventually the artists’ romance faded, yet their working relationship remained consistent, serving as each other’s greatest confidants until the very end.

The study utilizes both primary and secondary sources and accounts including: published essays, personal correspondence, exhibition catalogues, art anthologies, documentaries, and various peer-reviewed articles. It is organized in a thoughtful and consistent manner, providing adequate historical context to the analysis of the individual works as related to the evolution of the couple’s relationship.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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