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Georgia O'Keeffe Photographs

Identifier: MS-37

Scope and Content Note

The collection comprises almost 200 photographs, including copy prints, film, contact sheets, documentary photographs, and personal snap shots, all relating to the life and work of Georgia O'Keeffe. Many photographs are of O'Keeffe or her New Mexico properties.

Part of this collection was accessioned into the Museum's art collection, including fine art photography by such artists as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Laura Gilpin, Todd Webb, and Philip Halsman. Those photographs share an accession number scheme beginning with 2014.03.

The collection also contains a limited amount of correspondence, ephemera, clippings, popular prints, and one watercolor and graphite work by an unknown individual.


  • Creation: 1882-1974, undated

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public for research purposes.

Copy and Reproduction Restrictions

Photocopies or digital images of materials may be made for research purposes only.

Biographical and Historical Note

Georgia O'Keeffe was one of the most photographed women of the twentieth century. She actively participated in the creation of her own dramatic image, beginning in 1918, with the series of more than 300 photographs created by Alfred Stieglitz. After Stieglitz's death and her move to the remote village of Abiquiu in New Mexico, important portrait photographers followed her west to picture her at home and in her studio.

In 2006, The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation transferred O'Keeffe's personal photograph collection to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. This collection consists of both fine art photography and a wide range of archival photographic materials such as copy prints, negatives, contact sheets, documentary photographs, and personal snap shots. The photographic archive forms an invaluable record of O'Keeffe's life in art, a creative practice that spanned the twentieth century and the rise of American Modernism.

The photographs in this collection, MS.37, were originally in O'Keeffe's possession and given to James Johnson Sweeney when he was working on a book about her, which was never published.

James Johnson Sweeney (1900-1986) was an art curator, critic, historian, and museum director. Sweeney was a curator for the Museum of Modern Art from 1935 to 1946 and the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, from 1952 to 1960. Sweeney was appointed director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston in 1961 where he stayed for several years. Sweeney was the curator of O'Keeffe's 1946 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and consulted her on aspects of her career.


2.88 Linear Feet




This collection includes photographic material relating to Georgia O'Keeffe and her properties dating from 1908 to circa 1966. In addition to photographs there are clippings, prints, correspondence, printed material, and a watercolor and graphite drawing.

Arrangement of the Collection

Series arrangement is by general media type.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased by the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in 2014.

Related Materials

Part of this collection was accessioned into the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum's art collection. Those photographs share a similar accession number, 2014.03. There are similar or related photographs in various Georgia O'Keeffe Museum archival collections.

Ownership and Rights

This collection is the physical property of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. The Museum holds rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply. Contact the Archivist for further copyright and publication information as it pertains to this collection.

Processing Information

Processing of this collection was completed by Elizabeth Ehrnst in 2015.

Finding Aid to the Georgia O'Keeffe Photographs, 1882-1974, undated
Elizabeth Ehrnst
February 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Repository

217 Johnson Street
Santa Fe NM 87501 US