Georgia O'Keeffe Teacher Lesson Plan

Celebrate the life of Georgia O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 - March 6, 1986) with your students. O'Keeffe was a 20th century American painter and a pioneer of American Modernism.  

Learn about the independent and vibrant life of 20th century modernist painter Georgia O'Keeffe with our multimedia showcase of hero content. O'Keeffe initially created her art in New York City, where she lived with husband Alfred Stieglitz. She later moved to northern New Mexico and fell in love with the American West, which is reflected in her later paintings.

Georgia O'Keeffe

By: Alfred Stieglitz

Brilliant black and white portrait by American photographer Alfred Stieglitz of the artist Georgia O'Keeffe.

Stories about Georgia O'Keeffe from MY HERO Contributors

Georgia O'Keeffe

By: Chelsie from Ocean Springs

"None of her paintings were explainable to the human eye, unless you understood the feeling in the shapes and colors."

Georgia O'Keeffe

By: Adrian from Buffalo

Georgia O'Keeffe is an artist who is celebrated as the "Mother of American modernism."

Georgia O’Keeffe was a major figure in American art and is considered a founding member of American Modernism. She remained independent from changing art trends and was true to her own vision. She imbued her paintings with beautiful colors, simple bold shapes and a love of nature. Ultimately her paintings were intimately connected to the places where she lived.

Georgia O'Keeffe's Artwork

Black Iris, 1926 by Georgia O'Keeffe

By: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Georgia O'Keeffe is best known for her Flower paintings, in which she uses a very close up point of view that turns the subject into an abstraction.

Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue, 1931 by Georgia O'Keeffe

By: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Georgia O'Keeffe moved from New York to New Mexico, where she quickly became enamored of the Western lifestyle and the common objects -skulls- of ranch living.

Discussion Questions and Activity

1. After reading the two stories about Georgia O'Keeffe, discuss why she was Chelsie and Adrian's hero.

2. Reflect on the life and art of Georgia O'Keeffe. How did the places she lived influence her art? How are you immediately affected by where you live

3. What questions would you want to ask Georgia O'Keeffe about her art if she were still alive?

4. Research other American Modernist artists. Choose one artist and compare his or her work to Georgia O'Keeffe's.


Learning Outcome

Students will develop critical thinking skills as they analyze art. Students will learn about the characteristics of American Modernist art. 


Laura Nietzer

The Georgia O'Keeffe lesson plan was created by MY HERO Teacher and Learning Circle Director Laura Nietzer.

Related Links

Video: Life and Art of Georgia O'Keeffe - Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Curator Carolyn Kastner
Credit: C-SPAN
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Website
Georgia O'Keeffe: Biography.com

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Organizer created on 10/22/2019 9:47:33 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 4/30/2020 2:46:35 PM by Laura Nietzer