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 Post subject: A Love Affair in Letters
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:01 am 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 3:03 pm
Posts: 7687
Location: Lakewood
Georgia O'Keeffe is my absolute favorite painter; I even took an art class about only her while in college (it ended up being one of my favorite courses). Her life was so unique it enthralled me. I knew that she and her husband Alfred Stieglitz corresponded regularly, but had no idea it was this frequent! Can you imagine writing someone a 40-page letter in this day and age (and y'all thought I was verbose!)? :biggrin: I'm feeling a little nostalgic for something so intimate that's been lost...(my hubby and I courted via email. at one time I had them all saved on a floppy disk, which I can't even access anymore...I still have a small paper copy of my favorite message he sent me folded up in my wallet to this day though.)

Do you still have old love letters saved?

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Stieglitz And O'Keeffe: Their Love And Life In Letters
From 1915 until 1946, some 25,000 pieces of paper were exchanged between two major 20th-century artists. Painter Georgia O'Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz wrote each other letters — sometimes two and three a day, some of them 40 pages long. The correspondence tracks their relationship from acquaintances to admirers to lovers to man and wife to exasperated — but still together — long-marrieds.
by Susan Stamberg
July 21, 2011
O'Keeffe comes to New York, and she and Stieglitz begin living together almost immediately. They marry in 1924. "They were entranced — passionately in love," Greenough says. "And yet by the mid-'20s, difficulties start creeping into the relationship; you can see the cracks in the relationship."

O'Keeffe, now 42, is coming alive in New Mexico. She finds the subjects and colors that will place her work in every major museum. Her letters are full of adventures and sunshine. Back in New York, Stieglitz, now 65, falls apart. "I am broken," he writes, desperate that he has lost her and will never get her back.

After two months in Taos, O'Keeffe explains her time away in a letter dated July 9, 1929:

There is much life in me — when it was always checked in moving toward you — I realized it would die if it could not move toward something ... I chose coming away because here at least I feel good — and it makes me feel I am growing very tall and straight inside — and very still — Maybe you will not love me for it — but for me it seems to be the best thing I can do for you — I hope this letter carries no hurt to you — It is the last thing I want to do in the world.

Today it rains —

"This letter to me seems to express what any modern woman feels," Greenough says, "trying to reconcile the desires for work, their art, with a marriage."

A very modern marriage, which lasts — with changes, variations, temptations, an infidelity and, of course, letters — until Stieglitz dies in 1946. Throughout, each groped for personal and professional fulfillment — and achieved so much. The relationship, from 1915 to 1933, is traced in Volume 1 of My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.

You can listen to the podcast, or read more - there's an excerpt from the book contained in the article. I'll be putting it on my Amazon Wish List! :)

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. ~Frank Herbert

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:07 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 6:38 am
Posts: 3483
What a wonderful way of explaining what was happening with her in New Mexico. Further, the consideration "I hope this letter carries no hurt to you — it is the last thingI want to do in the word " during obviously trying times is priceless. I always admire people who have the empathy and thoughtfulness to express how the other might feel. I'm afraid this is one of my many flaws. I'm working on this, but it seems I'm a hopeless case. I'll keep trying. Miracles are known to happen and if they do, all credit will have to go to SG. It sounds like this is something I should read and perhaps learn to borrow a page or two.

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