How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living

Front Cover
Globe Pequot Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 231 pages
31 Reviews

A fresh, revealing look at the artist who continues to inspire new generations of women

Most people associate Georgia O'Keeffe with New Mexico, painted cow skulls, and her flower paintings. She was revered for so long—born in 1887, died at age ninety-eight in 1986—that we forget how young, restless, passionate, searching, striking, even fearful she once was—a dazzling, mysterious female force in bohemian New York City during its heyday.

In this distinctive book, Karen Karbo cracks open the O'Keeffe icon in her characteristic style, making one of the greatest women painters in American history vital and relevant for yet another generation. She chronicles O'Keeffe's early life, her desire to be an artist, and the key moment when art became her form of self-expression. She also explores O'Keeffe's passionate love affair with master photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who took a series of 500 black-and-white photographs of O'Keeffe during the early years of their marriage.

How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living delves into the long, extraordinary life of the renowned American painter, exploring a range of universal themes—from how to discover and nurture your individuality to what it means to be in a committed relationship while maintaining your independence, from finding your own style to developing the ability to take risks. Each chapter is built around an aspect of living that concerns women today of all ages: how to find your own path; work with passion and conviction; express yourself; be in a relationship without sacrificing your sense of self; and do it all with an effortless, unique style.

As with Karbo's previous books, How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living is not a traditional biography, but rather a compelling, contemporary reassessment of the life of O'Keeffe with an eye toward understanding what we can learn from her way of being in the world.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

What a extraordinary talented writer. - Goodreads
This was our book club selection this month. - Goodreads
I was a writer she was an artist in her nineties. - Goodreads
Her writing is anything but dry and academic. - Goodreads

Review: How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living

User Review  - Lesley - Goodreads

I wouldn't call it a serious biography but it does give you a glimpse into the life of Georgia O'Keefe. The author has a funny way of writing, talking to the audience as she tells Georgia's story. It made it a quick summer read. I would recommend it, it was enjoyable. Read full review

Review: How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living

User Review  - Marty Adamson - Goodreads

I've read a lot about O'Keeffe's life, so I didn't learn much new from reading this book, which was chosen by my book club. But to be fair, this was not advertised as a difinitive scholarly biography ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

Karen Karbo is the author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel (skirt!) and How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “an exuberant celebration of a great original.” Her three novels were all named New York Times notable books, and The Stuff of Life, her memoir about her father, was a People Magazine Critic's Pick and winner of the Oregon Book Award.

Bibliographic information