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O’Keeffe and Stieglitz: a Doorstopper of Love Letters

July 13, 2011

Alfred Stieglitz, photographer, patron, art dealer, and friend of Duncan Phillips, died on July 13, 1946.

Recently, the library was kindly given a copy of the newly published collection, My Faraway One: selected letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume I, 1915-1933. A substantial book, it is merely a selection of the 25,000 pages these two artists wrote to each other. The book donor commented to our librarian that she found the frequency and specificity of the letters to sound almost like Twitter feeds, O’Keeffe and Stieglitz updating each other on nearly every waking moment of their days. A letter on page 513 begins, “My dearest Alfred . . . I had your two registered letters yesterday afternoon- also your telegram . . . ” Another references a previous letter of 40 pages! Editor Sarah Greenough, who has had a long scholarly relationship with both artists and knew O’Keeffe, has carefully presented these intimate materials according to O’Keeffe’s spare but direct wishes: “make it beautiful and keep it honest.” The book is widely available and on sale in the Phillips shop.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael Miller permalink
    July 13, 2011 10:50 pm

    To characterize the book as, ” …merely a collection of letter,..” is to grossly understate their importance and the incredible amount of work ti took to edit and arrange them. This is an important book detailing not only Stieglitz and O’Keeffe’s relationship, but the times and art history as it was happening.

    • July 14, 2011 1:20 pm

      I agree with you completely on the value of this book. What I was trying to say is that even at 814 pages, this book is merely a portion of the letters written and more are yet to be published in a second volume. I’ve learned this title is available as an e-book and it would make fabulous summer reading.

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