Two Sisters and Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946), Ida and Georgia O'Keeffe, Lake George, 1924. Gelatin silver print, 4 3/8 x 3 5/8 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1980.70.197

While the O’Keeffe family was never close, for many years the two oldest sisters, Georgia and Ida, held one another in high regard. Although they shared common interests, Ida O’Keeffe was sociable, playful, and without guile—a foil to her elder sister’s introversion. In the 1920s, Ida O’Keeffe spent several happy vacations at the Hill, the seasonal home of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz on Lake George in upstate New York. The fall of 1924 was a particularly joyful period at the Hill and this gallery contains examples of Stieglitz’s snapshots taken that season. As illustrated in the photo here, Ida O’Keeffe occasionally turned the camera toward the great photographer; he became her brother-in-law in December 1924. Suggestive notes and correspondence indicate that Stieglitz’s interest in his sister-in-law was not entirely platonic. Much to the amusement of her sister, Ida O’Keeffe refused to take his flirtations and sexual innuendos seriously.