The Checkered Dress (Portrait of O’Keeffe)1907 by Hilda Belcher

To pose for Hilda Belcher, who had also studied at the Art Students League of New York, O’Keeffe wore a stylish checkered dress that she most likely made for herself, in the black and white palette she would favor throughout her life. This watercolor, with its tour-de-force detailing of the dress, won Belcher membership in the male-dominated New York Water Color Club.

Several years later, a female writer composed a love poem to the then unknown sitter shown in the image; it reads in part: “Could you know, did you guess/Such a daring rhythmic dress/Gleaming here, darkening there,/Would but render you more rare?”
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