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Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe Paperback – 1 Oct 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Rev Upd Su edition (1 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671016660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671016661
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"San Francisco Chronicle"

An excellent portrait of a nearly legendary figure.



"Christian Science Monitor"

This O'Keeffe will shock as much as amuse, chill as much as inspire.



Joyce Carol Oates

Fascinating...filled with riches...what a personality emerges from these pages!



Patricia Bosworth

"Portrait of an Artist" moved me deeply -- I can't remember when a book involved me so totally.



"Chicago Tribune"

Readers will welcome what Lisle has found. The woman who emerges has extraordinary personal stature, artistic gifts, commitment to her vision.



Eleanor Munro

author of "Originals: American Woman Artists"

Laurie Lisle has given us a mortal Georgia O'Keeffe, whose human hunger and frailties, gifts and strengths enabled her to survive -- triumphantly -- a conflicted life.



"San Francisco Chronicle"An excellent portrait of a nearly legendary figure.

"Christian Science Monitor"This O'Keeffe will shock as much as amuse, chill as much as inspire.

Joyce Carol OatesFascinating...filled with riches...what a personality emerges from these pages!

Patricia Bosworth"Portrait of an Artist" moved me deeply -- I can't remember when a book involved me so totally.

"Chicago Tribune"Readers will welcome what Lisle has found. The woman who emerges has extraordinary personal stature, artistic gifts, commitment to her vision.

Eleanor Munroauthor of "Originals: American Woman Artists"Laurie Lisle has given us a mortal Georgia O'Keeffe, whose human hunger and frailties, gifts and strengths enabled her to survive -- triumphantly -- a conflicted life.

"Chicago Tribune" Readers will welcome what Lisle has found. The woman who emerges has extraordinary personal stature, artistic gifts, commitment to her vision.

"San Francisco Chronicle" An excellent portrait of a nearly legendary figure.

Joyce Carol Oates Fascinating...filled with riches...what a personality emerges from these pages!

Patricia Bosworth "Portrait of an Artist" moved me deeply -- I can't remember when a book involved me so totally.

"Christian Science Monitor" This O'Keeffe will shock as much as amuse, chill as much as inspire.

Eleanor Munro author of "Originals: American Woman Artists" Laurie Lisle has given us a mortal Georgia O'Keeffe, whose human hunger and frailties, gifts and strengths enabled her to survive -- triumphantly -- a conflicted life.

Chicago Tribune Readers will welcome what Lisle has found. The woman who emerges has extraordinary personal stature, artistic gifts, commitment to her vision.

San Francisco Chronicle An excellent portrait of a nearly legendary figure.

Patricia Bosworth Portrait of an Artist moved me deeply -- I can't remember when a book involved me so totally.

Christian Science Monitor This O'Keeffe will shock as much as amuse, chill as much as inspire.

Eleanor Munro author of Originals: American Woman Artists Laurie Lisle has given us a mortal Georgia O'Keeffe, whose human hunger and frailties, gifts and strengths enabled her to survive -- triumphantly -- a conflicted life.

About the Author

In addition to Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe, Laurie Lisle is the author of two books: Without Child: Challenging the Stigma of Childlessness and Louise Nevelson: A Passionate Life. She lectures widely on O'Keeffe and writes essays, articles and book reviews for various publications. Lisle lives with her husband in northwestern Connecticut and Westchester County, New York.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I adored Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings and her part in American art history and whilst I have several books about her, this by far is the best.

The book captures what I feel is a true impression of the woman. She comes over as vert artistic, as you would expect, but certainly she is opinionated, argumentative and and a loaded canon. The book starts right at the beginning ie prior to her birth and details the struggles her family had in emigrating to the USA from Europe. By luck rather than judgement she manages to paint and draw and get noticed before becoming an art teacher in Texas. He drawings however are personal and it's only when a female friend sends charcoal drawing to Alfred Stieglitz at his New York gallery 291, is her talent first noticed. This is followed by her first exhibition in 1916 which the Tate is now promoting in a 2016 exhibition at Tate Modern in London (well worth a see)

After meeting Stieglitz they fall for each other and the parody of their relationship commences. This has a positive affect on her art and she becomes a well known name in the USA.

The book goes into ever crack and crevice of the relationship of the two and, to be frank, is rather damning in places. However, its well written and researched and I read so much I never knew previously.

The biography is very in-depth and if there is one criticism is that it does go into a lot of early detail which really does help the book. Its good to know maybe, but I think the book would have been better if it was a bit shorter.

Still 5 stars from me as it does give the best insight into Georgia O'Keefe I have read so far.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered Georgia O'keeffe when I was growing up in San Francisco and was drawn to her vibrant colors and soft flowery, feminine forms. I had no real idea who she was, or anything about her remarkable story until I read her biography in Portrait of An Artist.

This is a wonderful glimpse of the very early New York art scene and a fascinating vision of "Out West", New Mexico in the 30's 40's and 50's when Georgia O'keeffe first visited then moved out there. The descriptions are so beautiful, all I can think about is getting out there to see for myself.

The greatest part of this book is the detailed description of the life, habits and thought patterns of this pioneering and spirited woman - she was a bona-fide trailblazer for future generations of women artists and successful women in general.

My Swedish great grandmother emigrated to the US from Sweden when she 16 years old, all by herself with her little brother, and I recognized that same brave and gorgeous spirit in Georgia O'keeffe. I love stories of fiercely independent women doing their thing no matter what anyone else thinks or says.

I came away from this read fully grasping, once and for all, that abstract art, is by no means avant-garde, or radical ! A lot of people still react to abstract art as if it were way "out there" in the left field of daring experimentation. And yet It goes way, way back. Georgia O'keeffe was one of the greatest and earliest of it's advocates starting in 1918!

The book isn't brilliantly written, okay, it's even a little flat, but the story, is so exceptional, it more than makes up for the writing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good story
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 53 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of An Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe by Laurie Lisle 28 July 2010
By P. Soule - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our reading group all picked a different biography and we discussed our choices at our last meeting. Portrait of An Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe was my pick. This was an interesting and easy read that often revealed O'Keeffe's multi- faceted personality and artistic nature and work. I found the black and white photos of O'Keeffe, many of which were taken by her mentor and husband Stieglitz, often as revealing as Laurie Lisle's words. The bio reveals the artist from birth in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, in 1887 to her death in Taos, New Mexico in 1986.

It's not a perfect portrait as the author seems to impose her own opinions/guesses on why the artist reacted or thought certain things. But it was a good overview of her career and life. O'Keeffe valued privacy and freedom in her life. She was an accepted and successful artist at a time when many felt only men could be accomplished artists. Lisle's biography hightlights the fact that O'Keeffe wasn't a perfect person but that what mattered to her most was her art. I wish some of O'Keeffe's paintings had been included in the bio since the artist herself said that her life wasn't the important thing. It was her art that mattered.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thesis. 22 Jan. 2015
By Kate Gallagher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read a few G O'K bios. I've loved them all, but something about this one really appealed to me. The matter of factness, perhaps. But I got a better sense of her position in the art world, as well as the American culture in that period. Especially her reaction to the WWI. I recently saw a BBC documentary on Picasso that was admiring him because there were no artists of the period like him. I had to forget everything I knew about Georgia I learned from this book to be able to enjoy the program at all. I am a painter and getting a sense of how she managed her personal life with her professional one was incredibly insightful and helped me accept the distance I need from others sometimes. One thing she says, to paraphrase, there are a lot of nice people I don't have the time to get to know. YES! I hope you enjoy reading about this genius as much as I did.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story of a remarkable artist 16 Oct. 2016
By Blueskies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good read. Lots of information about her as a painter and what motivated and inspired her. Then the story of her life with Stieglitz as a thread throughout her life. Fascinating because she had such a long life and lived in very interesting times. I knew a lot about O'Keefe but there was so much more in this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy I found it. 10 Jun. 2013
By Lyrical - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I owned this book when it was first published in the 80's. I did what many book owners do, I loaned it to a friend who moved and took it with her. I have several biographies of Georgia O'Keeffe and always considered this one the best. I was so happy to find it on Amazon and return it to my collection.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to a knotty subject 17 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been educating myself on female artists, and this is the best artist biography I've read yet. (Disappointments were those of Lee Krasner, Diane Arbus, and Frida Kahlo.) The difference is that Laurie Lisle is not only a diligent researcher, but an excellent writer. She acquired some marvelous sources and compiled a thorough and vivid story of O'Keeffe's life and world. Her passages about O'Keeffe's homes in Texas and New Mexico are so beautiful that I want to get lost in them myself. She also evokes the experience of exotic foreign travel and the pleasure of memorializing it with well-chosen souvenirs, down to the perfect river rock.

The biggest drawback is O'Keeffe herself, who is hard to warm to: she determined early in life that to devote herself to art, she could spare nothing for pleasantry or even, at times, civility. She dressed austerely, kept vicious dogs, and lived in fierce solitude. She was hostile to anything that interfered with her art and intolerant of human foibles -- even though she indulged quite a few of her own, such as a temper tantrum when someone wouldn't give her a cake and a fit of outrage when her younger sister tried an art career. Her marriage was an odd relationship that couldn't compete with her devotion to her art and that left her as something of a part-time nurse and business partner to the irascible and fragile Alfred Stieglitz, who remained sexually inquisitive in his old age.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book for those who are curious about O'Keeffe. Ultimately, it is her art itself that tells her story, but this biography is a very illuminating and enjoyable set of footnotes.
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