In this excerpt from the podcast, Greenough explains the extent and the significance of Stieglitz’s and O’Keeffe’s correspondence. [1:55]
Sarah Greenough: Between 1915, when they first began to correspond, and 1946, when Stieglitz died, they exchanged 25,000 pieces of paper, just a phenomenal amount of letters. These are letters that- many of the letters are from 1915 to 1918 when Stieglitz is in New York and O'Keeffe was primarily in Canyon, Texas. There are scattered letters then from the 1920s, and then in 1929, when O'Keeffe started going to New Mexico, the correspondence really picked up again. But the letters describe, in almost unimaginably rich detail, their daily lives during the many months that they were apart: O'Keeffe's life first in Texas and then in New Mexico, Stieglitz's life in New York City and his family's house at Lake George, New York. And the insights that the letters provide into early 20th century American art and culture is just extraordinary, amazing. But also the details that they provide about Stieglitz and O'Keeffe's life are equally as important and really revelatory in a way. But I think even more than that, what's so extraordinary about the letters is that we have here documents that trace the evolution of their relationship over this extraordinary period of time. What other important modern couple can you think of where you can read these very personal, very intimate letters? To be able to see that evolution of a relationship between two passionately committed, independent, focused individuals is really extraordinary.