Cover image for Full bloom : the art and life of Georgia O'Keeffe
Full bloom : the art and life of Georgia O'Keeffe
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter, 1952-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [2004]

Physical Description:
630 pages, 48 unnumbered pages of plates: illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND237.O5 D76 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Georgia O'Keeffe (1887?986) was one of the most successful American artists of the twentieth century: her arresting paintings of enormous, intimately rendered flowers, desert landscapes, and stark white cow skulls are seminal works of modern art. But behind O'Keeffe's bold work and celebrity was a woman misunderstood by even her most ardent admirers. This large, finely balanced biography offers an astonishingly honest portrayal of a life shrouded in myth.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

After a decade of research, first-time biographer Drohojowska-Philp concludes that Georgia O'Keeffe may be the best known and least understood artist of the twentieth century. In an effort to dispel the hagiographic nimbus surrounding this pioneering artist and finally bring the true story of her difficult life to light, Drohojowska-Philp reveals the strife that drove the artist's cash-poor family from its farm in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, to unhappy sojourns in the South, and discloses O'Keeffe's frustrations over the repeated interruptions to her education, her misery while working as a commercial artist, her transcendent experiences in rural Texas, and her arrival in New York while ill and destitute. Rescued by photographer and impresario Alfred Stieglitz, O'Keeffe quickly became one of the country's most successful artists, supporting them both. But as Drohojowska-Philp so empathetically reveals, O'Keeffe was not only offended by Stieglitz's presentation of her as a sensual intuitive (an impression bolstered by his famously intimate photographs) rather than an intelligent, purposeful, and gifted artist, she was also traumatized by his infidelity. O'Keeffe lived a long, adventurous, and profoundly productive life, and Drohojowska-Philp charts her triumphs over adversity in an involving, revelatory biography that attains the grand scope and depth her subject deserves. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Arguably America's most popular painter, O'Keeffe (1887-1986) receives a full, too full, biography from art critic Drohojowska-Philp in her book debut. The first section reaches back four full decades before the artist's birth to O'Keeffe's immigrant grandparents' Wisconsin farm, and forward through O'Keeffe's studies (Art Institute of Chicago; Art Students League, New York), her jobs (commercial artist, art teacher) and her romances with various artists and others. The midsection, covering 1918-1946, details the New York years, O'Keeffe's relationship with photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz and her blossoming as a painter. The New Mexico decades between Stieglitz's death and O'Keeffe's (1947-1986), years of large canvases, honors and aging, complete the triptych. O'Keeffe was a prolific artist (more than 900 works), and Drohojowska-Philp seems driven to remark on as many as can be squeezed in. Notably greater detail about Dorothy Norman, who became Stieglitz's lover, and John Hamilton, who attended O'Keeffe during the last decade of her life, mark the book, but are all but buried beneath a paralyzing avalanche of tiresome detail and hollow data: "At four-thirty in the morning, [O'Keeffe] watched the sun rise over the glacial lake." (Sept.) Forecast: Almost everyone whose path crossed O'Keeffe's gets a life sketch here, and light touches are rare, but the wealth of data will keep this book on the scholarly rolls. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

For his first book, this ARTnews/Art in America contributor examines the betrayals that propelled O'Keeffe into the New Mexico desert. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This amazing volume explores the life and times of one of the most legendary figures in 20th-century art. Further, art critic and journalist Drohojowska-Philp puts the artist's works in chronological and geographical context. Complex relationships O'Keeffe had with her family, her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, her legions of friends (many of whom were famous in their own right), art world professionals, and, finally, Juan Hamilton are all recounted. Laurie Lisle's book, Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (CH, Oct'80; Apr'87), intimated her subject's contentious personality; Drohojowska-Philp's book dispels any doubts. In addition, she debunks the myth of O'Keeffe's reclusiveness: the artist was an avid traveler and a frequent host to many visitors. The author had access to materials, including letters, interviews, and complete catalog of the works, to which others did not. She has written an extremely rich narrative; however, she has not idolized the artist in this frank account. Georgia O'Keeffe emerges, despite the availability of so much information, intact and more compelling than ever. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals; two-year technical program students. B. Waterman-Peters Kansas State University