The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center Receives Gift from Brian and Bina Garfield

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In honor of Frances O’Brien, substantial gift donated to the Museum’s Research Center archive

Frances O’Brien papers, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Gift of Brian and Bina Garfield in honor of Frances O’Brien. ©Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

The O’Brien collection is a significant and welcomed addition to our archives, said Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Director Rob Kret.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s Research Center is pleased to announce the receipt of the generous gift of correspondence, interviews and other materials given by Brian and Bina Garfield in honor of Mr. Garfield’s mother, Frances O’Brien, to the Museum’s Research Center archives.

The O’Brien gift comprises correspondence between Frances O’Brien and Georgia O’Keeffe between the years of 1946-1973, interviews with Frances O’Brien, and images of O’Keeffe and O’Brien from the 1940’s to the 1970’s.

“The Museum is committed to ensuring the preservation of the legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe and to the stewardship of the collections at the Museum. The O’Brien collection is a significant and welcomed addition to our archives,” said Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Director Rob Kret.

Frances O'Brien (1904-1990) was a close friend of Georgia O’Keeffe and an accomplished portrait artist and writer. O’Brien painted portraits of well known subjects such as: Irving Berlin, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, William L. Shirer, Winston S. Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Grandma Moses, primarily for The Saturday Review.

“We are overjoyed by the Garfield’s generous gift to the Research Center,” said Eumie Imm Stroukoff, Emily Fisher Landau Director of the Research Center. “We believe that the O’Brien collection will open new avenues for scholarship due to the scope of the correspondence and the content in the interviews.”

The correspondence between Georgia O’Keeffe and Frances O’Brien explores the women’s lives as artists, mentions business and personal matters, and provides valuable primary source insight into the time period in which they lived.

“The papers have been processed and a guide to the collection is available on the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s website. By the end of this summer, the public will have online access to digital images of both the photographs and letters,” said Elizabeth Ehrnst, Archives and Digital Collections Librarian.

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Audrey N Rubinstein


About the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum:

To inspire all current and future generations, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum preserves, presents and advances the artistic legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe and modernism through innovative public engagement, education, and research. Opened in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1997, the Museum counts O’Keeffe’s two New Mexico homes as part of its extended collection. The Museum’s collections, exhibitions, research center, publications and educational programs contribute to scholarly discourse and serve a diverse audience. For more information, please visit

About the Georgia O’Keeffe Research Center:

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center opened in July 2001 as the only museum-related post graduate research facility in the world dedicated to the study of American Modernism. Since that time, nearly 70 scholars have received stipends in its fellowship program and spent time in Santa Fe pursuing independent research in a variety of areas including: art, architecture and design, literature, music and photography. In 2014, the Research Center expanded the scope of its scholarly research to include museum studies and initiated the Museum Studies Fellowship program.

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