Because I heard so many people disappointed by this museum, I put it off for quite some time. Anyway, I went to the museum on a First Friday in October, almost two years after I moved here. I was happy to hear that as a New Mexico resident, admission was free.
Since living in New Mexico, I’ve come to have a bit of a fascination with Georgia O’Keefe. Visiting Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, watching the O’Keefe movie, and reading books and articles about her have all made me admire and respect the woman for everything she accomplished in her lifetime, especially during the era in which she lived. And I find that O’Keefe’s work, with its simple shapes and flat colors, makes me feel like making art is possible – unlike those Dutch master paintings that I can never aspire to replicate!
Probably the most recognizable piece in the O’Keefe Museum was “Bella Donna”. (I suppose that’s why some people are disappointed – pieces like “Oriental Poppies” and her other abstract flowers are sorely missing.) But this museum in downtown Santa Fe gave me an opportunity to see a part of her earlier life in Texas and other abstract paintings – including an extensive collection of watercolors – that I had never seen before. Photographs of her daily life were also peppered throughout the museum, most taken by her husband Alfred Stieglitz. There was even a beautiful spiral shaped bronze on display (photo at left).
All in all, I enjoyed this museum. It wasn’t too big and overwhelming and the lovely Georgia restaurant is right next door.
MORE INFO: www.okeeffemuseum.org