American artist Georgia O'Keeffe looks off into the distance with her hands on a piece of pottery, Abiquiu, New Mexico, 1974.
Joe Munroe—Getty Images
By Sarah Begley
November 21, 2014

The woman best known for her flower paintings set a new auction record for the most expensive work of art by a woman. “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s on Thursday, almost triple the auction house’s high estimate.

The hammer price is four times higher than the previous record holder: an untitled painting by Joan Mitchell that sold for $11.9 million.

As TIME first wrote of O’Keeffe in 1928, “When Georgia O’Keeffe paints flowers, she does not paint fifty flowers stuffed into a dish. On most of her canvases there appeared one gigantic bloom, its huge feathery petals furled into some astonishing pattern of color and shade and line…It is enough to say that Miss O’Keeffe’s paintings are as full of passion as the verses of Solomon’s Song.”

[Bloomberg]

 

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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