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Perry Miller Adato Papers

Identifier: MS-52

Scope and Contents

Perry Miller Adato (December 22, 1920 – September 16, 2018) was an American documentary film producer and director and writer. Her 1977 documentary titled Georgia O'Keeffe is the only film portrait of O'Keeffe that she allowed to be made. Shot mainly on-location in New Mexico, the 88-year old painter was filmed in her studio, climbing in the surrounding Ghost Ranch hills and in her home in Abiqui near Sante Fe. Here she talks candidly of her work, her life and her marriage to the legendary photographer and pioneering champion of modern art in America, Alfred Steiglitz. This collection includes correspondence, interview transcripts, press and promotion, and physical sound and visual recordings on film of this documentary.

In 2001, Adato wrote, produced and directed Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye. The film includes interviews with Steiglitz’s grandniece Sue Davidson Lowe regarding Stieglitz and his wife O’Keeffe, comments by Joanna Steichen, wife of Edward Steichen and penetrating observations by notable historians in the worlds of art and photography including: Wanda Corn, Barbara Lynes, Sarah Greenough, Elizabeth Hutton Turner and cultural historians Thomas Bender, Allan Trachtenberg and writer Richard Whelan. In a never-before seen interview filmed by Perry Miller Adato in 1980, at the artist’s request, Georgia O’Keeffe speaks frankly and with humor about the many facets of Stieglitz’s life, his career, his difficult character, and their complex marriage which endured until his death in 1946. This collection includes correspondence, project files, production notes, script and film treatment, interviews, notes, and research relating to the development of the film, as well as physical sound and visual recordings on film of this project.

Adato also produced a short documentary for the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum to serve as an introduction to museum visitors upon entering. The film, titled Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life in Art uses O’Keeffe’s letters, Alfred Stieglitz’s famous O’Keeffe photographs, archival footage and contemporary location film of New Mexico to evoke her life and work. The film captures the artist in the magnificent New Mexican landscape that inspired much of her work. This collection contains correspondence, budget and expenses, production notes, scripts, notes and research related to the filming of this project.


  • Creation: 1975-2002, undated



8.75 (approx.) Linear Feet




Papers and audiovisual materials relating to Perry Miller Adato's film projects on Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.

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Finding Aid for the Perry Miller Adato Papers
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Elizabeth Ehrnst, Hannah Yetwin
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Repository

217 Johnson Street
Santa Fe NM 87501 US