Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Made in Wisconsin: Georgia O'Keefe

Wait, what? The Georgia O'Keefe is from Wisconsin?

Yes, mirabile dictu, Georgia O'Keefe was born in 1887 on her parents' dairy farm just outside Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (13 miles due east from my native Madison).

She lived in Wisconsin until 1903, after which she moved to the East Coast and would eventually find her considerable success as an artist.

O'Keefe, Black Iris (1926)
In her lifetime, Georgia O'Keefe was continually angered that critics believed that her art, centered on flowers, contained imagery of female sexual anatomy, which she insisted was a figment of their imagination, and never her intention:
O'Keefe, White and Blue Flower Shapes (1919)

“Well – I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flowers you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don’t.” (Ernest W. Watson, “Georgia O’Keeffe,” American Artist [June 1943]:10.)

I dunno. 

At any rate, we're awfully proud to claim her as a Wisconsinite. And it's just yet another example of the surprising riches flowing from the great State of Wisconsin.

Keith Massey was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He has his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biblical Hebrew, with a minor in Arabic. After 9/11, he served as an Arabic linguist at the NSA. He is currently a Latin teacher at a public high school in New Jersey.

Keith is the author of Intermediate Arabic for Dummies. His fiction novels follow the adventures of Andrew Valquist, roughly patterned after himself--a man born and raised in Wisconsin who gets pulled into the world of international intrigue. 

Keith's novels are A Place of Brightness, Amor Vincit Omnia: An Andrew Valquist Adventure, Next Stop: Spanish, and In Saecula Saeculorum.