O’Keeffe Sets Record For Woman Artist

A painting of a white blossom of a weed, which once hung in George W Bush’s dining room, has set a world record for a work of art by a woman after a bidder paid $44.4 million for the Georgia O’Keeffe piece. The 1932 painting “Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1” fetched more than three times the auction estimate of $10m-$15m when it was sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday. It thrashed the previous highest price paid for an O’Keeffe work – $6.2m at Christie’s in New York in 2001 – and was more than double the record for a female artist, set in May when Joan Mitchell’s “Untitled” sold for $11.9m at Christie’s. O’Keeffe’s painting was sold by the museum created in her name in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to benefit its acquisitions fund. It belonged for years to O’Keeffe’s younger sister, Anita O’Keeffe Young. For six years of Bush Jr’s tenure, it hung in the president’s private dining room at the White House. So that was his inspiration to pick up the brush in his retirement?

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