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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait That the Artist Would Have Enjoyed
When author Laurie Lisle advised the artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, that hers was a story Lisle "wanted to tell," O'Keeffe, as was her wont, elected not to participate but told Lisle, "you are welcome to what you find." ("Forward and Acknowledgments.") Lisle, equipped with a passion for her subject and steadfastness of purpose - qualities similar to those governing...
Published on August 30, 2007 by Laura Cohen

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Print quality ruins appreciation of book's content.
The writing is terrific! BUT the paperbook edition is of such poor quality-- the printing but especially the photographs-- that I think the book should be withdrawn from circulation and/or reprinted. My advice: try to get a used copy of the original hard cover edition.
EF
Published 22 months ago by E. K. Green


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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait That the Artist Would Have Enjoyed, August 30, 2007
By 
Laura Cohen (Sherman Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (Paperback)
When author Laurie Lisle advised the artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, that hers was a story Lisle "wanted to tell," O'Keeffe, as was her wont, elected not to participate but told Lisle, "you are welcome to what you find." ("Forward and Acknowledgments.") Lisle, equipped with a passion for her subject and steadfastness of purpose - qualities similar to those governing O'Keeffe's own work and life - pored through museum bulletins and exhibition catalogue notes, magazine and newspaper articles, memoirs about O'Keeffe's artistic peers (including her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz), and O'Keeffe's letters preserved in Yale's Beinecke Rare Book Library. She spoke with O'Keeffe's schoolmates, in-laws, and friends. And, of course, she viewed O'Keeffe's creations.

There is not one spot of color in this book except for the auburn and gold lettering on the jacket of my paperback. The sixteen pages of photographs in the book, only four of which show O'Keeffe posing with her art, are black-and-white. One imagines, had the artist participated in this project and accepted that a literary work, with an artist as its subject, could be as beautiful and fascinating as the flowers, skulls, rivers, and stones she captured in her own paintings, O'Keeffe would have appreciated the lack of color. For much of her life, O'Keeffe's signature garb was black with a touch of white, due to a belief that admirers ought to focus on the art, not the artist.

While reading this book, one obviously is tempted to take occasional breaks from Lisle's gorgeously plain, non-effusive prose to google O'Keeffe's paintings. After I read about O'Keeffe's initiation into the jet age, where she was surprised to peer down from her airplane window and "see so many rivers, tributaries, and deltas undulating through the earth's deserts" ("Chapter 13: Clouds"), I just had to view "It Was Red and Pink." However, this book clearly is not an art critique. Paintings are discussed insofar as they provide insight into O'Keeffe's mind, heart, and soul. Most of the time, while reading, I stayed far away from the computer. I was riveted by tales about family, femininity, marriage, the artist's apparent struggle between remaining dedicated to painting and perhaps having a baby, the conflict between how she and the public perceived her work, intimations of mortality, and a devotion to the splendors of New Mexico even after her eyesight failed.

I would recommend this book to anyone who relishes art, history, New Mexico, femininism, humanity, or just would love to read a great book.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, August 28, 2007
For so many years to me, Georgia O'Keeffe was just a well-known woman artist who painted flowers. Thanks to this book I came away feeling that I got to truly know and admire this artist and now I can look at her pictures differently with a deeper understanding and appreciation for them. Thanks to this book I think I have learned to look at the beauty in nature in a different way and feel that this book has taught me much about people and truly opened my eyes in many ways to the world around me and made me curious about different areas of our wonderful country. Very enlightening in many ways and definitely worth reading.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portait of an artist - in living color, May 27, 2008
By 
J Martin Jellinek (Memphis, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (Paperback)
Portrait of an Artist is just that - a portrait of a powerful, unique artist. Refreshingly, for those of us who have an interest in art and some knowledge but are not familiar with technicalities, the book is very direct and honest. One comes away with the feeling they have met and experienced a fascinating woman - one who is not always pleasant and kind, but one who is always open and honest. Her art is used as a lens into her deepest feelings, although the only representations of her art are in photographs where she is posing in front of one of her paintings. Her devotion to her art was inspiring, although it seemed to overwhelm everything and everyone that surrounded her. I walk away from this book very glad to have met and experienced Georgia O'Keeffe, but also glad to have experienced her from a distance and not had to endure her intensity personally. This is a great compliment for a fascinating book.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Wisconsin to New Mexico: An incredible life., September 23, 2003
There are parts of New Mexico that, if you know of the woman, just scream This is Georgia O'Keeffe Country. This honest and admiring biography lays out the story of this incredible woman who lived to age 99. That's a long, long, long life. Her life found its trajectory when, in 1916, a friend sent some of her drawings to renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz. He proclaimed her to be "a woman on paper." Furious (as only O'Keeffe could be furious), she confronted him, became his lover, and eventually married him, initiating an emotional and artistic collaboration that endured until his death.
O'Keeffe became a feminist before the word was even invented. When she realized that it would be impossible to become her own person while working in his shadow, she established the pattern of spending 6 months with him in NY and 6 months on her own in New Mexico, a place she always referred to as her spiritual home. Stiegitz died in 1946, and O'Keeffe lived on for another incredible half a century.
If you have the opportunity to visit New Mexico, don't miss the O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe - and my all means visit her home in Abiqueque. To say it's Georgia O'Keeffe country is to put it far too mildly.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lending and losing this book should have taught me a lesson, July 24, 1997
By A Customer
Having read Portrait of an Artist in college I learned to appreciate the talent, determination and self reliance that success requires. It should be required reading for every young woman
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of An Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe by Laurie Lisle, July 28, 2010
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This review is from: Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (Paperback)
Our reading group all picked a different biography and we discussed our choices at our last meeting. Portrait of An Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe was my pick. This was an interesting and easy read that often revealed O'Keeffe's multi- faceted personality and artistic nature and work. I found the black and white photos of O'Keeffe, many of which were taken by her mentor and husband Stieglitz, often as revealing as Laurie Lisle's words. The bio reveals the artist from birth in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, in 1887 to her death in Taos, New Mexico in 1986.

It's not a perfect portrait as the author seems to impose her own opinions/guesses on why the artist reacted or thought certain things. But it was a good overview of her career and life. O'Keeffe valued privacy and freedom in her life. She was an accepted and successful artist at a time when many felt only men could be accomplished artists. Lisle's biography hightlights the fact that O'Keeffe wasn't a perfect person but that what mattered to her most was her art. I wish some of O'Keeffe's paintings had been included in the bio since the artist herself said that her life wasn't the important thing. It was her art that mattered.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Print quality ruins appreciation of book's content., April 9, 2013
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This review is from: Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (Paperback)
The writing is terrific! BUT the paperbook edition is of such poor quality-- the printing but especially the photographs-- that I think the book should be withdrawn from circulation and/or reprinted. My advice: try to get a used copy of the original hard cover edition.
EF
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Georgia O'keeffe is a true American treasure, May 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (Paperback)
Having just seen the Georgia Okeeffe exibition at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, DC, I had to run out and buy a biography to learn more about this incredible artist. This book gives deep personal insight to Ms O'keeffe's life and work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, July 19, 2011
By 
Emilie McEwan (Morgan Hill, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Lisle writes not only a biography but a rivoting story of the most talented American artist of her time. I dont know which i enjoyed more, the writing or the life in which she wrote about. I'm so glad she paid hommage to this important artist by writing this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy I found it., June 10, 2013
By 
Lyrical (Los Angeles,Ca. USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe (Paperback)
I owned this book when it was first published in the 80's. I did what many book owners do, I loaned it to a friend who moved and took it with her. I have several biographies of Georgia O'Keeffe and always considered this one the best. I was so happy to find it on Amazon and return it to my collection.
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Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe
Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe by Laurie Lisle (Paperback - October 1, 1997)
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