Abiquiu house under construction, probably 1949
Scope and Content Note
The Frances O'Brien Papers Relating to Georgia O'Keeffe contains materials collected by Frances O'Brien. The materials document the friendship between the two women from the mid-1940s to the early 1970s.
There are approximately one hundred original letters, postcards, and telegrams from O'Keeffe to O'Brien dating from 1947 to 1971. Additionally, there are photocopies of letters from O'Keeffe to O'Brien (only a few photocopies for which there is no original), as well as photocopies of letters from O'Brien to O'Keeffe. In these letters, O'Keeffe writes about work, her daily activities, and travel. O'Keeffe often misspells O'Brien's first name, Frances, as Francis. O'Brien and O'Keeffe make reference to the "salt mines", which is explained in an interview with Nancy Wall in March 1986 when O'Brien states "we called ourselves the salt miners because we were always working". Original letters have been transcribed.
The photographs in this collection exist only as low resolution digital images. The majority of the photographs were taken between 1949 and 1971 when O'Brien visited O'Keeffe in New Mexico or O'Keeffe visited O'Brien in Arizona.
Also included are interviews with Frances O'Brien conducted by Nancy Wall between 1986 and 1987. In these interviews, O'Brien covers a range of topics but mostly focuses on her friendship with O'Keeffe. The recordings are unedited. Additional audiovisual materials include an interview from 1987 with Dan Budnik conducted by Nancy Wall and raw video footage of an interview with O'Brien conducted by Catherine Busch-Johnson for "The Face of Wisdom: Stories of Elder Women".
Original letters, the photographs, and interviews with Frances O'Brien are available in digital format.
- Creation: probably 1949
- O'Brien, Frances, 1904-1990 (Photographer, Person)
The collection is open to the public for research purposes.
1 Photographic Prints : digital image
From the File: English
Ownership and Rights
Copyright Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
Explanation of Rights
Only low resolution digital file exists. Original digital files were bitmaps delivered to GOKM and converted to tiff format and derivatives for access.