Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Sarah Greenough

In this week's podcast, we learn the story behind the massive correspondence between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe.

“You are a very, very great Woman.---You have given me---I can’t tell you what it is---but it is something tremendous---something so overpowering that I feel as if I had shot up suddenly into the skies & touched the stars---"

That’s an excerpt of a letter written in 1916 from photographer Alfred Stieglitz to painter Georgia O’Keeffe. When they had met earlier that year, Stieglitz was 52 and arguably the most important person in the  American art world. O’Keeffe was 28 and unknown. A mutual friend had shown O’Keeffe’s work to Stieglitz, and he was deeply moved by what he saw. They began to correspond, met, fell passionately in love, and eventually married. It’s rarely easy having two artists merge as one couple, and Stieglitz and O’Keeffe were no exception. They struggled to reconcile their own personal and professional fulfillment. But luckily for us, through it all, they continued to write to each other. Their correspondence form the basis of the book My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933. My Faraway One features over 650 letters selected and annotated by Sarah Greenough, who heads the Department of Photography at the National Gallery of Art.

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