Georgia O’Keeffe, Summer Days, 1936
NARRATOR: Like a mirage, a deer skull hovers in the sky above wild flowers. The artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, didn’t like to explain her paintings. To her, they were simple records of what she saw around her. Walking in the desert, she collected bones that had been bleached by the New Mexico sun.
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: The bones do not symbolize death to me. They are shapes that I enjoy. It never occurs to me they have anything to do with death. They are very lively. They please me. And I have enjoyed them very much in relation to the sky.
NARRATOR: O’Keeffe, who began her career in New York, eventually began living in the American Southwest in 1929.
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before but it fitted to me exactly. Like something that’s in the air—it’s just different. The sky is different, the stars are different, the wind is different.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), Summer Days, 1936. Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 × 30 1/8 in. (91.8 × 76.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Calvin Klein 94.171 ©2015 The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York