Letters of Alfred (Dearest Duck) and Georgia (Sweetestheart)
The Goodreads giveaway for My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz: Volume One, 1915-1933 may have passed, but the story of the letters is only now beginning to unfold as we approach the June 21 publication of the volume. In just over 30 years, Stieglitz and O’Keeffe exchanged over 5,000 letters, a conversation of love, friendship, and art that was central to the evolution of American modernism. The correspondence was never revised, words are never crossed out, preserving the oddities and endearments of the pages—nicknames like “Little Duck” and many forms of “Dearest”. Stieglitz died in 1946, and before bequeathing these letters to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1949, O’Keeffe stipulated that the contents remain sealed until twenty years after her death (in 1986). In 1981, she personally selected Sarah Greenough, a renowned scholar of the history of photography, to edit the correspondence, and this is the first time that an annotated selection of these letters appears in print—about 650 letters in this volume.
To commemorate the publication of the book and other projects in the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Keeffe Archive, the Beinecke Library is having a Stieglitz/O’Keeffe celebration, tomorrow, June 8 at 4pm. If you’re around New Haven, please join for an exciting chance to learn more about the digital projects of the archive and the relationship of these two pillars of 20th-century art. Keep your eyes on this blog later in the month as we preview some of the letters, the kind that kept Stieglitz asking for “A long, long kiss!—Just another kiss—a big one & I’ll let this go—”.