Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wideness & Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O'Keefe

"When I think of death, I only regret that I will not be able to see this beautiful country and more, unless the Indians are right and my spirit will walk here after I'm gone." -Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe has become an icon of American Art, and an inspiration for women artists everywhere. Her career spanned nearly 80 years until her death at the age of 98. Her perseverance and hard work made her one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century.

In Wideness &Wonder, Susan Goldman Rubin recreates Georgia's life in a straight forward and easily understood narrative. The difficulties of breaking into a male dominated field is one of the main focuses of the focuses of the biography which covers some of the most tumultuous times in human history including WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII. Georgia lived and worked through all of these world disasters with the support of her photographer husband, Alfred Stieglitz. Hard work and stubbornness helped Georgia to succeed when it seemed the entire art world was set against her. She found a unique figurative style in an age of experimentation and abstraction. Her love of the American landscape shines through in her work, and she remains one of the greatest landscape artists born on this side of the ocean.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. It provides an interesting and accurate account of O'Keefe's life and struggles. Wideness & Wonder is an excellent book for any teen interested in Art or who is looking for a strong, unconventional woman role model. The book is simply written and explains the historical contexts so that a reader would not need to have prior knowledge 20th Century history. Georgia O'Keefe's unapologetically unorthadox life will make it easy for teens to relate to her, even if they do not enjoy her artwork. The short eposodic chapters will also make it a great pick for struggling readers.


amykate208 said...

This book sounds interesting. I studied the works of Georgia O'Keefe in an art class I took last year, but we never learned anything about her as a person. Sure we talked some about what inspired her, but I think it would have been nice to really get to know who she was as a person. I think she's a great artist, I'll definitely have to check this book out!

BookPaige12 said...

I never think of nonfiction books as good for struggling readers (perhaps because personally they are not my favorite) but it is great this is written in that format. I've always loved O'Keefe's work and think young women can never have enough strong female role models. They need all the help they can get struggling for wage equality and breaking through the glass ceiling!

cstephens said...

I think this book is probably at a middle school level which is why I think it would work well for a struggling high school student. It would probably have to be a student who is interested in art or the history of women's rights. O'Keefe was quite a maverick for her times.