Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is something I had wanted to visit and explore for quite a while. I was very happy to be able to see it on our latest trip to the area. For those that may not know, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum is in honor and dedicated to the artistic legacy of none other than Georgia O’Keefe. More about her life throughout this post. For now I want to share more about the museum itself.
The first thing I wanted to share is that while walking around the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, you will find many items from her work and personal collections. These include items from her historic houses, as well as some of her key works. She is remembered for her large-format flower, skull, and landscape paintings, as well as paintings of architectural forms and rocks, shells, and trees. Currently the museum holds nearly 150 oil paintings, nearly 700 sketches, and important pastels, watercolors, and charcoals. Many of these items and collections rotate throughout the year, but here are some of the ones we saw.
The museum is one level with MANY rooms and it makes it feel very large. I will start by sharing a little bit about Georgia O’Keefe’s life as I share a few pictures along the way. She was born on November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, WI after high school studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York. Through a series of abstract charcoal drawings she developed a personal language through which she could express her feelings and ideas. By the mid-1920s, O’Keeffe was recognized as one of America’s most important and successful artists, known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers—an essentially American image of modernity—as well as flowers. Below is one of my favorites from that period : Red Maple
In the late 1930’s, she painted the beautiful and famous called the Bella Donna. I really enjoyed seeing this painting and it was interesting to learn that she had painted this while while visiting the island of Oahu as a guest of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole). I think it is absolutely beautiful and elegant.
Another piece I wanted to share was a painting that had a connection to our current home state of Colorado. While Georgia was teaching art in Texas she took a train trip through Ward here in Colorado and saw this church she later painted . This trip was also the first time she went through and saw New Mexico. Although she wouldn’t relocate to New Mexico until the summer of 1929.
Another interesting piece I really enjoyed seeing was called Petunia No. 2. It was painted in 1924 and is one of her earliest large scaled flower paintings. I love purple and this oil painting is gorgeous. There was some controversy in regards to some of here large scale flower paintings, but I will let you do research on that yourself.
As I stated earlier, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum not only holds a lot of her art work and photography, it also holds a lot of items that she felt had personal connections to a place or time, or were of personal significance to her. They were things she either found while walking around her home in New Mexico, or gifts from friends who knew of her interest and would pick them up for her on their travels. Many of them eventually became sources for her art, as subjects of still life paintings or abstractions. You can see some in the case below.
Here is a little bit more about Georgia O’Keeffe. She was married to Alfred Stieglitz, a photographer and art dealer a few years after he had some of her abstract work sent to him from a friend. He was also the first one to exhibit her work in 1916.
After her train trip to Colorado in 1929, she spent part of the next two decades living and working in New Mexico. She made the state her permanent home in 1949, three years after Stieglitz’s death. As you can see from some of her work, the simplified and refined representations of this region express a deep personal response to the high desert terrain. She seemed like a marvelous women who started traveling internationally in her older years, and then at the age of seventy-three she embarked on a new series focused on the clouds in the sky and the rivers below. Due to macular degeneration and failing eye sight, at the age of ninety she stated ““I can see what I want to paint. The thing that makes you want to create is still there.” What an inspiration.
We had an amazing time walking through and touring the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. I really enjoyed learning more about her life, and exploring the museum which is dedicated to her and opened on July 17, 1997. Her art is very impressive. Here is a link to their website it you would like to learn more and plan your own visit.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum was very gracious and hosted our visit to the museum while in the Santa Fe Area. As always, all opinions are my own.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Visitor Information
217 Johnson St. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wed – Monday 10 AM – 5 PM
Closed on Tuesdays
- Tickets are available 30 days in advance
- Entry times are available every 15 minutes, until sold out
- Please arrive at the time of your reservation. After entering, you can stay as long as the Museum is open
- Bring earbuds for our free audio tour
Adult – $18
Child under 18 – Free
Please note the Museum does not have on-site public parking. City of Santa Fe parking garages can be found nearby and metered parking is also available throughout downtown Santa Fe.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum strives to provide an enriching experience for all visitors. Visit their accessibility page for general overview of accessibility options available at all locations.
No pets are allowed except approved service animals. Service animals must remain on a leash or harness, and under the control of the owner at all times.
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