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Visit Santa Fe's Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

18 Oct 2012 8:30 AM
Visit Santa Fe's Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Georgia O'Keeffe is one of the most lauded and cherished American artists in the country's history. With her inventive style and keen eye, O'Keeffe managed to become an instrumental player in the progression of modern art, as well as playing a vital role in opening up the painting world to women. Since her death in 1986, O'Keeffe has been canonized in her field.

This is particularly true in New Mexico, which the artist made her home in the middle of her career. The state's stirring landscape and varied flora (as well as its relative seclusion, a trait O'Keeffe especially prized) gave her the perfect home base, and spurred her to create some of her most famous and original works. Because of the important role New Mexico played in her artistic development, it is not surprising that Santa Fe boasts the world's only museum dedicated to this American legend.

Boasting over 1,000 of the artist's paintings, drawings and sculptures, the museum has become a much-loved part of Santa Fe's cultural scene, and a frequent destination for many artistically inclined owners of luxury real estate in the area. More than 2 million visitors from all corners of the planet have walked the halls of this popular institution, according to the museum's website.

The museum's collection spans several decades and styles and offers a deep look into the artist's oeuvre. For this reason, the museum has become a common destination for relative newcomers and O'Keeffe acolytes alike. The sheer scope of the collection makes it possible to spend hours examining the displays - and to come back frequently.

Another reason the museum has become such a popular attraction is its frequent events and guest collections. Throughout the year, the O'Keeffe museum sponsors exhibits designed to give guests a broader perspective on the artist's work and her role in the evolution of painting. Sometimes, this means bringing in the works of other artists influenced by O'Keeffe. Such a list is long, and artists whose work has been showcased at the museum range from Arthur Dove to Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

As part of the museum's quest to shed more light on O'Keeffe's position in the painting world, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center was opened in 2001. This facility helps academics - who often stay for between three and 12 months as participants in a paid internship program - delve deeply into the history of modern art.

It's not hard to see why O'Keeffe eventually made New Mexico her home, and by visiting the museum commemorating her, it's also not hard to learn about her and her outsized effect on the art world.