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American Icons: Georgia O’Keeffe’s skull paintings

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Georgia O'Keeffe and one of her skull paintings in 1931.

Georgia O'Keeffe and one of her skull paintings in 1931.

Credit:

Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

“The men were all talking about the great American novel, the great American play ... the great American everything,” Georgia O’Keeffe said. “So I thought ... I’ll make it an American painting.”

In the 1930s, O’Keeffe fled the East Coast art world for New Mexico. There, she painted cow and deer skulls floating over delicate abstract landscapes of the New Mexico desert. An art historian, a tour guide and an interior designer explain the appeal of the skulls. And a retiree tells how their magnetism drew her to settle in the Southwest.

(Originally aired November 12, 2010)

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