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Georgia O'Keeffe and Branding Principles

“You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” 
Georgia O’Keeffe

In 1917 Steigliz gave Georgia O’Keeffe her first show in New York City.  Take a minute to let that sink in. 

1917! 

A woman! 

Poor! 

Painting abstract - flowers???

In 1917 O”Keeffe was already unapologetically answering a calling that was entirely hers to answer. 

“Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time.” Georgia O’Keeffe. 

She loved America and felt, in her bones, American.

She was a pioneer. But instead of going wide, she took her time to declare what she wanted out of her days, weeks, life. 

Before O’Keeffe, there was no context for O’Keefe. In fact, the cultural context was antagonistic to an O’Keefe type person. 

Yet, not antagonist to O’Keeffe herself. 

Why? 

In 2017 The Peabody Essex Museum curated a show on Georgia O’Keeffe titled 

Georgia O”Keeffe: Art, Image, Style. 

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2017/10/09/georgia-okeeffe-peabody-essex-museum/

The exhibit was curated around how carefully Georgia O’Keeffe chose to represent herself. Not only in her paintings but also in her attire, and how she was photographed.  

O'Keeffe understood how she represented herself must align with her work and values. 

Some might say she was an early adopter of branding.  Others say, she was committed to living a life that reflected her deepest values. 


I believe, brand is the expression of values.

A declaration to others of who we want to be.

O’Keeffe reminds us, once we declare it, accomplishment waits.    


Robyn Coady