Georgia’s Sister Ida O’Keeffe

Variation on a Lighthouse Theme VII by Ida Ten Eych O’Keeffe circa 1931-1932.

For many years I have been a fan of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and fascinated by her interesting life.  Most of the photos I remember seeing of her were in her later years with gray hair swept up in a bun; a tiny figure on a sun drenched hill, is what comes to my mind.

Sisters Ida and Georgia O’Keeffe.

But did you know Georgia had a sister that was also an artist? Well, actually she had two, but Ida is the sister that stuck with it even after Georgia asked both sisters to stop showing their works.

Three Figures by the Ocean, York, Maine circa 1927.

Ida, who was younger than Georgia, spent her life teaching painting, nursing, or occasionally writing.  She often moved for employment, never married, and had no children.  Due to her moves and work, she never had the time to devote to her artwork.  But she was a good artist nonetheless.

Star Gazing in Texas, circa 1938. The stars are attached to the frame. Some are foil stickers and some are tin cutouts that are nailed on to the frame.

The Dallas Museum of Art just had an exhibit of Ida O’Keeffe’s works.  I must admit some paintings were reminiscent of Georgia’s work, but that is probably due to both painting in the same era and having some of the same teachers.  The exhibit was very interesting, especially the room filled with lighthouses, each a rendition of the Highland Lighthouse on Cape Cod.  Each lighthouse was a little different than the last, by adding a color or changing the way it appeared.  All were amazing.  It was interesting to see how Ida could change her perspective on a single subject.

Variation on a Lighthouse Theme VI.
One of my favorite Ida O’Keeffe paintings.

The Dallas Museum of Art is just opening an exhibit on Berthe Morisot who was the first female Impressionist.  It too was fascinating and moving.  Well worth a trip to Dallas to enjoy it as well as the permanent displays.

This exhibit featured about 70 pieces by Berthe Morisot.


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