Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue

Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue
Artist Georgia O’Keeffe
Year 1931
Medium Oil on canvas
Location The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Dimensions 39 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.
101.3 x 91.1 cm
Georgia O’Keeffe Famous Paintings
Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue, 1931
Blue and Green Music, 1919-1921
Pineapple Bud, 1939
Black Iris, 1926
Red Canna, 1924
Blue Morning Glories, 1938
Complete Works

The American artist Georgia O’Keeffe produced the painting Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue in 1931. The painting is one of the works in the Alfred Stieglitz Collection held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The work is painted in oil on canvas. It measures 39.86 by 35.86 inches.


The foreground of the painting is a white cow’s skull. The two sides of the painting are delineated by red stripes. A black stripe runs down the center of the painting, behind the skull. Between the stripes, the viewer can see what looks like cloth in shades of blue and white.

Inspiration and Symbolism

The painting was created at a time when many artists in different genres were exploring subjects and styles in an attempt to produce a uniquely defined American art. Many focused on rural and urban themes.

The background to this painting symbolizes the American flag, while the skull is probably a testament to the vastness of the country. A religious connotation can also be gleaned from the cruciform shape of the skull.

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