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Georgia O’Keeffe’s UVA Years

Untitled watercolors by Georgia O’Keeffe of the West Lawn and the Rotunda

Both untitled paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe—of the West Lawn and the Rotunda—were part of a series of watercolors created during her years studying and teaching on Grounds.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Recognized as the mother of American modernism, painter Georgia O’Keeffe earned fame for her work in both New York City and the American Southwest. But her summers at UVA in her 20s were pivotal in helping develop her artistic vision.

Georgia O’Keeffe at the University of Virginia, photographer unknown

From 1912 to 1916, O’Keeffe daily traversed Grounds as a student and an instructor, capturing the light on familiar landmarks in her artwork.

From October 2018 through January 2019, in celebration of this early influence in her work, UVA’s Fralin Museum of Art hosted an exhibition of her watercolor studies: Unexpected O’Keeffe: The Virginia Watercolors and Later Paintings.

O’Keeffe went on to earn the 1985 National Medal of Arts for her contribution to American culture, a year before her death.