Prints and Publications

Ida Ten Eyck O'Keeffe (American, 1889–1961), Fish, 1935. Monotype, 10 x 7 3/4 in. Collection of Allison Kramer

While pursuing the limited opportunities available to unmarried women during the Great Depression, Ida O’Keeffe occasionally supplemented her income by writing. Among her publications is the third-grade reader Forest Indians (1934), for which she was both the author and illustrator. Her last known publication derived from her love of the monotype process and appeared in the journal Prints in 1937.
Spontaneous and fresh in its execution, O’Keeffe described the monotype as standing “in the half-shadow between painting and print-making.” To create a monotype, an artist paints a design onto a hard support. Then, before the design dries, it is transferred onto moistened paper by pressing the two surfaces together. O’Keeffe could produce monotypes in her small living spaces following a day at work. She adapted the process by making her impressions with an electric iron.