Georgia O'Keeffe (Hands)



2015-06-26 10:59:48

Georgia O'Keeffe (Hands) is a pictorialist photographic work produced in 1919 by Alfred Stieglitz. The 25.7 x 20.2 cm black-and-white palladium print depicts a pair of hands apparently scratching at each other.

Stieglitz used his wife, artist Georgia O’Keeffe, as the model for the piece.

Critical analysis

The work is one of a number of photographs Stieglitz took of O’Keeffe, forming what he called a “composite portrait”.

The National Gallery of Art, USA, states:

“Stieglitz cultivated here above all the sense of photography as fragmentary, a partial viewing that lends itself to juxtaposition and serial development.

This closely framed view of ecstatically clawing hands, sinewy fingers pressing into flesh, gives just one aspect of O'Keeffe's multifaceted personality as shaped through this portrait series.”


The piece sold for $1.47 million at Sotheby’s New York in February 2006 – making it among the most expensive photographs ever sold.

At the same sale, Georgia O'Keeffe Nude, another 1919 print by Stieglitz, sold for $1.36 million.

Eight of the nine highest prices ever paid at auction for Stieglitz photographs are images of Georgia O'Keeffe.

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