Linda M. Grasso's Equal under the Sky: Georgia O’Keeffe & Twentieth-Century Feminism
(University of New Mexico Press, 2017) provides an in-depth look at O'Keeffe's ambivalent relationship with feminism from her early beginnings as a New Woman of the 1910s, to the support she received from women to become a national icon for feminism. Along the way, she distanced herself in multiple ways from women and feminism seeking to establish herself as an artist rather than as a woman artist with art making serving as a personal form of activism. Her desire to control her career and image motivated her to seek gender-transcendence and embrace personal feminism of individualism, self-expression and professional achievement. O’Keeffe’s success, the modernism of her time, and feminism are deeply linked, demonstrating the complexities for women who excelled in their chosen fields and the enduring conflicts within the movement. How the meaning of feminism changed during the course of O’Keeffe’s lifetime and how she became a feminist icon disconnected from its politics are at the heart of this fascinating study.
Linda M. Grasso
is a professor of English at York College, City University of New York.
Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled
The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current research project is on the intellectual history feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir.