“When I got to New Mexico, that was my country! I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air. It’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different.” - Georgia O’Keeffe
Recognized as the mother of American Modernism and 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.” The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is dedicated to the artistic legacy of O’Keeffe, her life, American Modernism and public engagement. It’s the most visited art museum in the state of New Mexico, and it is the only American museum in the world dedicated to an internationally-known woman artist.
The Museum’s collection of over 3,000 works comprises 1,149 O’Keeffe paintings, drawings and sculptures that date 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. The Museum presents special exhibitions that are either devoted entirely to O’Keeffe’s work or combine examples of her art with works by her American modernist contemporaries, as well as by living artists of distinction. More than 140 artists other than O’Keeffe have been exhibited at the Museum, such as Arthur Dove, Sherrie Levine, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol and modern day guest speakers have included Annie Lebovitz.
As a component of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center opened in July 2001. As the only museum-related research facility in the world dedicated to the study of American Modernism, it’s here that research takes place in the fields of art history, architectural history and design, literature, music and photography. Its annual, competitive stipend program awards six allowances to qualified applicants who can spend three to twelve months at the Research Center.
The honors bestowed Ms. O’Keeffe span an impressive spectrum, from a PBS documentary starring Jane Alexander and Christopher Plummer, to US Postal stamps boasting her image and paintings, to a recently discovered fossilized species found near her Ghost Ranch home being named after her (effigia okeeffege). Ms. O’Keeffe’s deep-seated love of New Mexico is well-documented both with word and paint, and the City Different is profoundly privileged to be the site of the brilliant Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, located in historical old town at 217 Johnson Street. They boast an informative and colorful website where you can check the calendar for events and exhibits. Reach them by telephone at 505.946.1000.