24 May Things to do in Santa Fe: The Georgia O’Keefe Museum
Summer is near, and you might be planning your getaway to our beautiful Santa Fe. The perfect summer vacation is nothing without a little adventure and some interesting hotspots. Whether you’re staying long-term or just preparing for a quick weekend trip, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum should be your first stop.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opened to the public in July 1997, eleven years after the death of our namesake artist. A visit to the O’Keeffe Museum offers insight not only into the artist’s paintings, but also her creative process and the light and landscape that inspired her. In addition to the main Museum campus in Santa Fe, the O’Keeffe Museum maintains O’Keeffe’s two homes and studios in northern New Mexico, a research center and library, and a variety of collections relating to O’Keeffe and modern art.
One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.” O’Keeffe’s images—instantly recognizable as her own —include abstractions, large-scale depictions of flowers, leaves, rocks, shells, bones and other natural forms, New York cityscapes and paintings of the unusual shapes and colors of architectural and landscape forms of northern New Mexico.
The Museum’s collections of over 3,000 works comprises 140 O’Keeffe oil paintings, nearly 700 drawings, and hundreds of additional works dating from 1901 to 1984, the year failing eyesight forced O’Keeffe into retirement. Throughout the year, visitors can see a changing selection of these works. In addition, the Museum presents exhibitions that are either devoted entirely to O’Keeffe’s work or combine examples of her art with works by her American modernist contemporaries.
In 2006, the Museum took responsibility for the care and preservation of O’Keeffe’s home and studio along the Chama River in Abiquiu, New Mexico, about an hour north of Santa Fe. A national historic landmark and one of the most important artistic sites in the United States, the home where the artist lived and worked is open for tours by appointment. O’Keeffe’s first home in New Mexico, about 30 minutes northwest of Abiquiu at the Ghost Ranch is also cared for by the Museum though it is not currently open to the public.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center opened in July 2001 to house offices for staff and fellows, and The Michael S. Engl Family Foundation Research Center Library. The Research Center serves as the intellectual hub of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum by promoting and sponsoring research and conversation about Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, the Stieglitz Circle, and their contemporaries. It also promotes research into issues of Modernist art, architecture, design photography, literature, and music from the 1890s to the present. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s unique library and archive collections in the Research Center Library are open to the public by appointment.
Educational programs at the Museum serve more than 7,100 students and adults per year with a robust slate of workshops, lectures, conversations, and classroom activities.