In 1910, after a period of disillusionment with the art scene and a brief stint as a commercial artist in Chicago, O'Keeffe returned to Virginia where her family had moved eight years before. She taught briefly at the Chatham Institute, where she had attended high school, and then began taking art classes at the University of Virginia. From 1914 to 1916, while she taught summer classes in Virginia, O'Keeffe spent her winters studying in New York. While O'Keeffe stayed in New York, she started her painting of this city.
After O'Keeffe's marriage to Stieglitz in 1924, her artist's eye turned outward again. During their residence in New York, O'Keeffe painted many Manhattan skyscapes, including her first Manhattan view, the haunting New York Street with Moon.
One can't paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt."
With these words, Georgia O'Keeffe neatly conveys her passion for the skyscraper city, as well as her idea of art as a medium for expressing her emotions and her vision of the world. The simplified forms reminiscent of photography and of Precisionism, contribute to the personal symbolism characteristic of her mature work. O'Keeffe continued to paint New York scenes until the onset of the Great Depression, when the utopian spirit of the city vanished.