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Lectures and Book Signings
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Palette: Rebecca Strand and Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico

March 18 at 2:00
East Building Auditorium
Carol Troyen, Kristin and Roger Servison Curator Emerita of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In 1929, Georgia O’Keeffe and Rebecca Strand left their homes and famous photographer-husbands to travel to New Mexico in search of artistic independence. O’Keeffe was established by that time but often felt constrained by the artistic circle around Alfred Stieglitz. Beck Strand was trying to find her way as a painter in the shadow of Paul Strand’s growing success and in a community that seemed to have room for only one woman artist. Strand had a little-sister relationship with O’Keeffe, often dressing and wearing her hair like her better-known friend.  During the two summers they spent in Taos, O’Keeffe provided Strand with the support she needed to develop an independent artistic voice and a medium—painting on glass—that she could call her own. For Strand, who settled there permanently in 1933, Taos offered an environment that suited both her swashbuckling public persona and her delicate imagery. In this lecture, Carol Troyen shares how, for both artists, the Southwest offered a space where women artists could flourish.

Nathan Salsbury, Photograph of Rebecca Salsbury James and Georgia O'Keeffe (detail), 1929. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

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