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Georgia O'Keeffe's New York

In the 1925, O’Keeffe and her husband, the photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, took up residence in New York City in the Shelton Hotel, then the tallest residential tower ever constructed. Her work space there—the world’s first skyscraper studio—inspired a series of paintings. She later recounted the experience and its impact on her work: “[W]hen I was looking for a place to live, I decided to try the Shelton [Hotel]. I was shown two rooms on the 30th floor. I had never lived up so high before and was so excited that I began talking about trying to paint New York.”

O’Keeffe’s bird's-eye exploration of the Manhattan cityscape is seen in approximately two dozen surviving works, including New York, Night. Finished in 1929, the canvas depicts the northern view from the artist’s apartment in the direction of the Beverly Hotel and Lexington Avenue. The artist described the thoroughfare’s nocturnal aspect to be “like a very tall thin bottle with colored things going up and down inside it.”

Georgia O’Keeffe
Sun Prairie, WI 1887–Santa Fe, NM 1986
New York, Night
Oil on canvas, 1928–29
40 1/8 x 19 3/16 inches
Nebraska Art Association, Thomas C. Woods Memorial, N-107.1958