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Georgia O'Keeffe sets female artist auction record with $44 million sale

Georgia O'Keeffe sets female artist auction record with $44 million sale

At Sotheby's

The famed American artist Georgia O'Keeffe has recently broken the world record for any artwork by a female artist, surpassing the previous record of work by Joan Mitchell

This week, at Sotheby's in New York, the 1932 painting Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1 by Georgia O'Keeffe sold for more than three times the auction estimate of $15 million reaching $44.4 million – surpassing the previous record of $11.9 million for untitled work by Joan Mitchell. 

Georgia O'Keeffe, who died in 1986, was known for her paintings of flowers and southwestern landscapes. The recent record breaker, Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1, was one of her large-format depictions of a simple white blossom of a weed – which was painted as if it had been seen close-up.

The painting had belonged to the artist's sister, Anita O'Keeffe Young until 1966, and for six years it was hung in the private dining room in the White House during the George W. Bush administration. This also isn't the first time the painting has appeared at a Sotheby's auction, it has been seen twice – first in 1987 when it was sold for $990,000 and then in December 1994, for $1 million.