The Interior Life of Georgia O’Keeffe

I’ve just started Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe by Dawn Tripp ( ). One of my favorite subjects! I’ll update this post once I’m finished…

Dawn Tripp imagines the interior life of Georgia O’Keeffe (Source: The Boston Globe)

Dawn Tripp imagines the interior life of Georgia O’Keeffe (Source: The Boston Globe)

I didn’t want to write the story of the O’Keeffe we know, but how she became the O’Keeffe we know. I wanted to reveal how perceptions of her have been shadowed by the gendered politics she faced as a female artist in a predominantly male art world. I focused on the years she lived in New York with [Alfred] Stieglitz, because those were the years her art was recognized, when she fell in love, when she made those artistic innovations and choices that set the course of the rest of her life. It was relevant to women and artists years ago, and it’ll be relevant years from now. (Source: A novelist imagines the interior life of Georgia O’Keeffe – The Boston Globe)

Reviews of  Dawn Tripp’s Georgia

Dawn Tripp's novel, Georgia

Dawn Tripp’s novel, Georgia

In this masterly novel, Dawn Tripp erases the boundary between writer and character, bringing O’Keefe’s voice, essence, and vision to life. Georgia is a dazzling, brilliant work about the struggle between artist and woman, between self and the other, between love and the necessity to break free of it. The luminous sensuality of the writing glows from every page, drawing the reader into the splendor and machinations of the New York City art world between the wars, revealing both Georgia O’Keeffe and Dawn Tripp as the great artists they are. ~ B. A. Shapiro (author of The Art Forger and The Muralist)

Georgia O’Keeffe’s life became legendary even as she was living it, something she both invited and fought against. This is the fascinating tension at the heart of Dawn Tripp’s novel—a book that, like O’Keeffe’s paintings, is lush and rigorous, bold and subtle, sensual, cranky, deeply felt, and richly imagined. ~ Joan Wickersham (author of The News from Spain)

American artist Georgia O’Keeffe blazes across the pages in Tripp’s tour de force about this indomitable woman, whose life was both supported and stymied by the love of her life, photographer and art promoter Alfred Stieglitz… [Readers] will feel the passion that infused her work and love life that emboldened her canvases.,, The relationship between Stieglitz and O’Keeffe, and her metamorphosis from lover to wife to jilted partner, is poignantly drawn. Tripp has hit her stride here, bringing to life one of the most remarkable artists of the twentieth century with veracity, heart, and panache. (Publishers Weekly)

Masterful… The book is a lovely portrayal of an iconic artist who is independent and multidimensional. Tripp’s O’Keeffe is a woman hoping to break free of conventional definitions of art, life and gender, as well as a woman of deep passion and love. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Tripp inhabits Georgia’s psyche so deeply that the reader can practically feel the paintbrush in hand as she creates her abstract paintings.

Georgia is a uniquely American chronicle… and, in the end, a book about a talent so fierce it crushed pretty much everything in its path—a rare story of artistic triumph… Tripp expertly makes drama of two traditional themes in the O’Keeffe story—the romance with Stieglitz and the development of her art—but it’s the track about her art and his management of it and her struggle not to be dominated by him that makes her novel compelling… In most first-person novels, the character talks to you. Here, she recollects with you—in her heart as well as her head. Which is to say that Dawn Tripp writes in much the same way as O’Keeffe painted: in vivid color and subtle shade. (The Huffington Post)

As magical and provocative as O’Keeffe’s lush paintings of flowers that upended the art world in the 1920s . . . [Dawn] Tripp inhabits Georgia’s psyche so deeply that the reader can practically feel the paintbrush in hand as she creates her abstract paintings and New Mexico landscapes. . . . Evocative from the first page to the last, Tripp’s Georgia is a romantic yet realistic exploration of the sacrifices one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century made for love. (USA Today)

Georgia of Santa Fe: Fine Dining à la O’Keeffe

Georgia in Santa Fe

Last night we enjoyed our second memorable evening at Georgia ( in a week. Our first dinner – in the bar with friends – was delicious, but not only in terms of victuals and potables. Our server was the highlight of our outing. I’m sorry to have forgotten her name, but her smile, laughter and eagerness to ensure a perfect experience stick with me. The Manhattan was exceptional, calamari smoky and fresh, wine oh-so-fine, and braised short ribs out of this world.

Indeed our first experience was so enjoyable that we returned before the experience could fade in our memories.

Imagine a slightly nutty, balsamic and caper-spiked indulgence… A half portion would well have sufficed, but I devoured them all.

For round two we ate in the dining room with my visiting parents. The elegant minimalism (impeccably edited, not spartan design) of the bar is perfected in the dining room. Georgia O’Keeffe presides in black and white over a dining room she might well have concocted herself if she were still with us. I started with crispy Brussels sprouts. Sound mundane? Hardly! Imagine a slightly nutty, balsamic and caper-spiked indulgence… A half portion would well have sufficed, but I devoured them all. A Flintstone-worthy lamb shank served over spinach was tasty if 4x too large. But once again, I ate everything, new year’s resolutions be damned.

My review would remain incomplete without a nod to Grant, our enthusiastic and thoroughly charming server. A handsome twist on Jim Carrey (with a jigger of Max Headroom), his wine recommendation was the welcome mat for a delightful one man show that kept us laughing and joyful. Thanks, Georgia and Grant, for a perfect night.

Fine Dining à la O’Keeffe

Is Georgia really fine dining à la O’Keeffe? I’d like to think so. On the one hand, the decor offers a modern echo of the stark, simple, minimalist but handsome aesthetic that Georgia O’Keeffe favored in her New Mexico homes. As for the artist’s dining preferences, cookbooks suggest a similarly restrained palate. I have prepared some of the meals she apparently favored after a day’s work in Abiquiu or at Ghost Ranch, and while sometimes hardy, they are created with few ingredients and no fuss. Chef Brett Sparman’s dishes are superior to the quotidian fair that often passes for home cooking nowadays, but they are carefully edited and ingredient-forward. They are precise, not precious, and they are consistently delicious. I suspect that the restaurant’s namesake would have approved.

Georgia Q&A

Have I piqued your interest? Here is some helpful information to help transform that interest into a reservation.

Q: Where is Georgia located?
A: Georgia is located at 225 Johnson Street in Santa Fe next door to the iconic Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Q: When is Georgia open?
A: Georgia serves dinner seven days a week beginning at 5:30pm. Georgia celebrates daily happy hour in the tavern between 4:00 and 6:00pm.

Q: Does Georgia offer outdoor service?
A: Georgia serves dinner on the patio in the summer and fall.

Q: Do I need a reservation?
A: While Georgia welcomes walk-ins, I would encourage you to make a reservation – especially during summer and holidays – to ensure that you can be accommodated according to your preferences. To make a reservation you can call 505-989-GEORGIA (4367) or book online through OpenTable.

Q: Does George permit pets on the patio?
A: Georgia welcomes leashed, well-mannered pets for patio dining during the summer and fall.

Q: Does Georgia have a website where I can find more information?
A: You can learn more about Georgia (and view more photographs) at

Any more questions? Add them in the comments and we’ll try to answer them or pass them along to Chef Sparman and his team.

Georgia Reviews

Dining at Georgia is memorable in all the right ways. But don’t just take my word for it.

Georgia reflects professional management from start to finish. For example,… drive right up to the entrance and a valet will park your car for you. No hassle involved and a gracious way to solve… [the Santa Fe parking] problem.

Georgia’s patio is one of Santa Fe’s nicest and the interior space is elegantly simple, in keeping with the artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s inspiration. (Albuquerque Journal News, August 29, 2014)

Top billing goes to the gluten-free spiced crusted tuna—a perfectly seared pair of tuna medallions topped with a Turkish anchovy, shaved radish, sprouts and a red piquillo pepper relish and with hidden caper surprises ($14). Chef Brett Sparman’s version of ubiquitous and mighty kale salad uses cranberries and hazelnuts plus a tangy, light and salty dressing ($11). I could have eaten a larger portion of either one for the main course. (Santa Fe Reporter, July 29, 2014)

There is a real absence in Santa Fe of the type of restaurant we wanted to create, that we think other cities have,” Lloyd [Abrams, co-owner] explains. “And that’s an in-town country club. A place that’s elegant and sophisticated, but where people can eat every week.” The idea is that when people come to Georgia, the staff and owners know not only their name, but also where they like to sit and what they like to eat. Service is upscale but personable, and the dishes are simple and approachable, so people will want to come in often. (Local Flavor, June 30, 2014)

Tired of the restaurant scene in Santa Fe, business partners Lloyd Abrams and Terry Sweeney designed and built Georgia — once home of the O’Keeffe Café — to inject life back into the local dining sector.

“This place is pretty unique and offers a level service that’s different from what people typically find in Santa Fe,” [chef Brett] Sparman said. “We really want to create a personal experience [for diners] … and help liven up the restaurant scene.” (The Santa Fe New Mexican: Taste, June 3, 2014)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Like so many before me, my love affair with New Mexico was kindled by Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and art. For three decades the pull has endured. Today O’Keeffe remains central to my appreciation, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum ( which was completed a year and a half after I first moved to Santa Fe from Washington, DC continues to provide insightful, well curated exhibitions into the world of this transformative artist and those influencing (and influenced by) her.

Georgia O'Keefe Museum

Georgia O’Keefe Museum (Photo credit: Jeff Youngstrom)

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opened to the public in July 1997, eleven years after the death of the artist from whom it takes its name. Welcoming more than 2,225,000 visitors from all over the world and being the most visited art museum in the state of New Mexico, it is the only museum in the world dedicated to an internationally known American woman artist. (

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is the largest collection of O’Keeffe’s work numbering over 3,000 works, including her paintings, drawings, and sculptures. The exhibition of this collection varies throughout the year, so that visitor’s may always encounter something different. The museum also offers exhibits from other artists—her contemporaries and also living artists of distinction.

Another component was added to the museum in 2001 when The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center opened.

As the only museum-related research facility in the world dedicated to the study of American Modernism (late nineteenth century – present), it sponsors research in the fields of art history, architectural history and design, literature, music and photography. (

About Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe during her time at the Univer...

Georgia O’Keeffe in 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.” (

Learn about O’Keefe’s history and how her artistic talent developed.

Visit Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Location: 217 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM
Phone: 505.946.1000
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm every day; Friday evenings until 7 pm

Find Georgia O’Keeffe Museum on the map below: