LivingTravelGeorgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe - O'Keeffe Studio, Abiquiu

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe – O'Keeffe Studio, Abiquiu

Few 20th century artists are so strongly associated with the region in which they worked than legendary painter Georgia O’Keeffe with north-central New Mexico, particularly the secluded hills and red rock canyons around the village of Abiquiu. and, further north, Ghost Ranch – O’Keeffe lived and had a studio at both locations. As the closest city to Abiquiu and the artist’s home towards the end of her illustrious 98-year life (she died in 1986), it is fitting that Santa Fe is the site of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (217 Johnson St. , 505-946-1000): The museum is a few blocks from the historic Plaza de Santa Fe, just a five-minute walk from the impressive New Mexico Museum of Art and the Palace of the Governors.

The O’Keeffe Museum opened in 1997 in a newly constructed but traditionally designed building in the local Pueblo Revival style. This is a relatively compact museum, and it only takes about an hour to 90 minutes for a full visit, considering how long you could spend watching one of the regularly screened movies about O’Keeffe and his life. The museum contains more than 3,000 of his works, but only a small number are displayed at any one time; Also, some pretty clever and compelling rotating shows, which generally last two to six months, are put on in two or three rooms of the museum.

These temporary exhibitions have often tried to place O’Keeffe’s work in the context of the American modern art movement, and have sometimes featured photographs of her life as well – she was married to photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who was more than 20 years older. that he and La passed away at age 82 in 1946.

On that note, there has been extensive speculation over the years as to whether O’Keeffe was bisexual (here’s a great discussion on the subject, in a 1989 letter to The New York Times, by an editor of one of his biographies ). To date, there is no evidence that O’Keeffe has had sex with women, although he lived on several occasions with his close friend Maria Chabot (who was bisexual). We may never definitively know in one way the exact nature of O’Keeffe’s sexual orientation, and for many of his LGBT fans, this really isn’t important.

What matters most is that O’Keeffe defied many conventions of his day, and both his life and work have inspired legions of LGBT fans.

If you have time, it takes some planning, it’s definitely worth making the trip to O’Keeffe Abiquiu House and Studio, a 5,000-square-foot Spanish colonial house on a cliff that has been restored to look like when the artist last lived Time here in the early 80’s. The house is managed by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Foundation. Tours cost between $ 35- $ 60 per person (depending on time and type of tour), and advance reservations are required, and tours run only on certain days from mid-March to late November.

Only 12 people are allowed on each of these very interesting guided tours of O’Keeffe’s house. Tours leave by shuttle bus from the Abiquiu Inn (lovely place to stay, by the way), so you have to drive there from Santa Fe, it takes about an hour.

Visitors are sometimes confused by the relationship between the O’Keeffe house in Abiquiu and his old studio at Ghost Ranch. These are two separate places, about 15 kilometers apart. O’Keeffe lived in a house that is now owned by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum but was not open to the public during his early years in New Mexico in the 1930s, and he continued to divide his time between Ghost Ranch and his home in Abiquiu until 1984, when he moved to Santa Fe. Although you cannot visit the Ghost Ranch home, you can take tours of the surrounding landscape at the Ghost Ranch Conference Center (US 84, 40 miles north of Spain between the markers of miles 224 and 225, 877-804-4678), who has long owned this 21,000-arched parcel of land that figures so prominently in O’Keeffe’s paintings.

At Ghost Ranch, you can book a variety of tours and activities, from trail rides and guided hikes to tours that reveal sites on the property used in famous movies and archeology and paleontology excursions.

If you plan to visit the Abiquiu studio and visit Ghost Ranch, again, make all reservations in advance and consider spending the night in or near Abiquiu, either at the Abiquiu Inn mentioned above or at the gay friendly spa retreat, Ojo Caliente Mineral. Springs Resort. Unfortunately, the gay-owned and rather charming Rancho de San Juan inn has closed and been converted into condos.

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