Art: Loner in the Desert

Fifty years ago, Georgia O'Keeffe was the muse and queen bee of the New York avantgarde. A small, aggressive coterie, its social life revolved around the "291" Gallery, run by O'Keeffe's future husband, Alfred Stieglitz. O'Keeffe was beautiful, then as now, and Stieglitz's pictures of her over their long years together form the greatest love poem in the history of photography. But painters in the "291" circle, like Marsden Hartley and John Marin, found it hard to believe that somebody who did the cooking might also be a serious painter.

Even before Stieglitz died...

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