Georgia O'Keeffe

Famed artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, Beta-Chatham Episcopal is a recipient of the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. While attending Chatham (Virginia) Episcopal Institute from 1903 to 1905, Chatham's principal and art instructor, Elizabeth May Willis, recognized and encouraged O'Keeffe's interest in art. In her senior year, O'Keeffe served as art editor of the school yearbook Mortar Board. As early as the mid-1920s, O'Keeffe became recognized as one of America's most important and successful artists, known best for her large-scale depictions of flowers as if seen close up. By the fall of 1915, while teaching art at Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina, O'Keeffe attempted to discover a personal language through which she could express her own feelings and ideas; she began a series of abstract charcoal drawings that are now recognized as being among the most innovative in all of American art of the period. O'Keeffe continued to work in oil until the mid-1970s, when failing eyesight forced her to abandon painting, although she continued working in pencil and watercolor until 1982. She also produced objects in clay until her health failed in 1984. She died two years later, at the age of 98. O'Keeffe's legacy continues at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kappa Delta is a proud supporter of the museum's Art and Leadership Program for Girls.

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