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Believe it or not, the artist was also a serious foodie.

Rebekah Lowin
March 17, 2017

Georgia O’Keeffe: foodie?

It might not be the first thing you associate with the late, great artist’s name, but O’Keeffe was, in fact, a serious food lover who delighted in organic ingredients and whole foods. And a new book is here to remind us of that.

“Dinner with Georgia O’Keeffe," available for purchase now, is equal parts recipes, new and archival photographs, and anecdotes, all curated by photographer Robyn Lea. While it’s true that O'Keeffe was best known for her paintings of flowing New Mexico scenes and colorful flowers, she also enjoyed inventing (and, luckily for us, writing down) her own recipes. In fact, maybe that’s why the recipes in the book are so compelling: they’re all rooted in her general artistry and love of color.

To put the book together, Lea traveled to New Mexico, where she spent time in the artist’s favorite state and perused O’Keeffe’s very own handwritten recipes. That journey lends a deep authenticity to the finished product, which reflects not only O’Keeffe’s love for fresh, real food, but also the colors of the New Mexico landscape and the natural, organic beauty with which she was surrounded.  As Lea writes, “When we bring her favorite dishes to our table, can it help us rethink the role of food, art and nature in our own lives?”

A health food enthusiast ahead of her time, we learn that O’Keeffe grew her own ingredients in her garden, made her own yogurt, and even ground her own grains to make bread. Astonishingly, more than 50 years before it became the trendy thing to do, she was dedicated to using only whole grains. She also had an extensive library of collected cookbooks.

In the case of O’Keeffe, life certainly imitated art — and vice versa. This delightful book highlights the beauty of both.

“Dinner With Georgia O’Keeffe: Recipes, Art & Landscape” by Robyn Lea, $50.