Artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s Letters & Personal Recipe | Antiques Roadshow

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During Antique Roadshow’s 2022 visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a guest named Gail Robertson brought in a personal collection of items and letters from famed modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe. The collection contains a 1978 signed copy of Georgia O’Keeffe’s self-titled book (first published in 1974), a handwritten recipe for a dish titled “Indian Pudding,” and two letters addressed to Gail from O’Keeffe. One of the letters is handwritten and the other one is typed.

Gail told Books and Manuscripts appraiser Ken Gloss that she had formed a relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe after being invited to work for the artist as a cook. After a short time in that position, Gail was instead reassigned — because, as she recollected to Gloss, she couldn’t cook — to type letters and perform various secretarial duties while O’Keeffe stayed at her art studio in Abiquiú, New Mexico.

Gloss explained that because of Georgia O’Keeffe’s prominence in the art world, any letters from her – both handwritten and typed – are considered both important and valuable. He also noted that fans of cooking and art would be especially interested in collecting a recipe from such a respected and well-known artist. After analyzing the collection, Ken estimated that the value of the signed copy of the book was $750, the two letters were worth $500 each, and the handwritten recipe was worth an additional $750, totaling up to an estimated retail price of $2,500.

Read the two letters and the recipe below!

Indian Pudding Recipe

Indian Pudding
(Abstracted from Rombauer)
Preheat oven to 325°
4 cups milk in top of double boiler
⅓ c. cornmeal added
Stir and cook 15 mins
Add ¾ c. dark molasses
Remove from burner (over)
Add ¼ c. butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger { Cool about 5 min
3 tb. spoons sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Pour into greased baking dish
Bake 1 ½ – 2 hr.
Serve hot!
If barbaric, top with vanilla ice cream!!

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Handwritten Letter

Dear Gail:

This was written to you long ago but didn’t get into the mail.
May I send you a book to read on cassets for my recorder?
Let me know and I will send it — All best thoughts to you —

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Typed Letter

Abiquiu, New Mexico
August 31, 1978

Ms. Gail Robertson
15 Ware Street
Cambridge, Mass. 02138

Dear Gail:

It is good to hear from you. I often think of you and wonder about you. The white
carpet is getting dirty now, but not too bad yet though.

I know about the book The Way and the Power several years before I could get it
and when I got it and you sent me the cassette of it I wasn’t really very
interested. It seemed I should have read it years before.

Abiquiu is as usual, maybe two or three new families. We don’t grow as fast as
other places, though we think we are the best. I spend quite a bit of time at the
Ranch, but at the moment there is plumbing trouble that is going to mean a lot of

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I never met Henry Miller. He went in to see Stieglitz quite often, but I seemed to
miss him. I was always a little annoyed how he spoke of the United States after
traveling in France. I read several of his books with interest, but would have to
look them up to tell you about them. I can’t tell you all you like to know about him.
Have you seen his book of hand written letters?

Be sure to stop by if you come this way.

My greetings to your dog and violin.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Book Inscription

For Gail Robertson

With thanks for this white floor
and many other things

Georgia O’Keeffe


Collected by Cookingtom

Original Article

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