Where to Walk in the Footsteps of Georgia O’Keeffe
Seminal American artist Georgia O’Keeffe drew inspiration from the lunar landscapes of New Mexico. Follow in her footsteps at some of her favorite painting spots—The White Place, The Black Place (part of Bisti Badlands), and the home of the “Lawrence tree”—or splurge on a 10-day art retreat at her remote studio getaway, Ghost Ranch. View her most famous works and her letters and journals at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, then stop by her adobe studio to see her paints, easel, and impeccable mid-century furniture. Grab a Georgia O’Keeffe biography at Bode’s, her favorite general store in the center of Abiquiu, then round off your art odyssey with “The O’Keeffe Table” at Eloisa: a five-course tasting menu that pays tribute to the foods O’Keeffe cooked at home. —By Edmund Vallance
Espanola, NM, NM, USA
Georgia O’Keeffe called the grouping of weathered rock outcroppings near Abiquiu “The White Place” and immortalized it in paintings. The land is so arid, and so little changes in New Mexico, that the location and signature V shape have survived. A great hike, close to Abiquiu. Cowboys and Aliens was also shot nearby!
Taos, NM 87571, USA
The English novelist D.H. Lawrence came to New Mexico to recuperate after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. This 160-acre ranch, gifted to him by Mabel Dodge Luhan, is where he started work on his novel The Plumed Serpent. He wrote underneath a tall ponderosa pine, immortalized by Georgia O’Keeffe in her painting The Lawrence Tree. Take a tour of Lawrence’s estate, including the famous tree, “standing still and unconcerned and alive,” as Lawrence once wrote.—By Edmund Vallance
New Mexico has the reputation for 364 days of sunshine every year. But occasionally it snows a lot, blanketing and softening the rocky scenery New Mexico is so famous for. Ghost Ranch is a conference center about 50 miles northwest of Santa Fe, made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived in Abiquiu for many years and painted almost every formation with her unique style. You can stay at Ghost Ranch or nearby Abiquiu in one of several B&Bs. For more information, consult the Ghost Ranch website.
217 Johnson St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
Located in downtown Santa Fe, this perfectly sized museum is dedicated to the artistic life of Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) and houses the single largest collection of the artist’s work in the world. Rotating exhibits often include O’Keeffe’s iconic desert landscape paintings alongside lesser-known gems painted in Lake George and Hawaii (where she was commissioned by the Dole pineapple company). Often, notable pieces from established peers and contemporaries like Ansel Adams, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol join hers on the walls.
21120 US-84, Abiquiu, NM 87510, USA
Located 60 miles from Santa Fe, artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu is magnificently available just the way she left it. You can almost channel her ghost. Anybody with appreciation for amazing restoration, architecture, gardening, mid-century modern (Florence Knoll, Alexander Gerard), taxidermy, Japanese aesthetic, and landscape will feel at home instantly. Find a few spots that inspired such oil paintings as My Last Door (1952/54). Good to Know: Tours require advance reservations, so plan accordingly, and very sadly, no cameras are allowed.
Established in 1919, O’Keeffe’s favorite café and grocery store still has pride of place in the center of Abiquiu. Stock up on supplies (they have everything from top-shelf liquor to handmade local soap) or dine on New Mexican staples like a green chile cheeseburger, posole soup, or a smothered enchilada. Georgia O’Keeffe biographies are also available. —By Edmund Vallance
228 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
After helming two restaurants in Los Angeles, native Santa Fe chef John Sedlar returns to his grandmother’s New Mexican cuisine at Eloisa. The whitewashed, minimal, brick-exposed space serves as a temple for savory empanaditas, sopes, tamales, posole, tortillas made with fresh masa, and creative jicama and guacamole tacos with flower petals. To sip, tequila and mezcal cocktails are crafted by Dede Roybal, a bartending genius. You won’t be disappointed. All dishes are expertly and artistically plated. Afterward, stretch your legs walking around downtown Santa Fe—Eloisa’s locale couldn’t be any more convenient.
240 Morada Lane
Wealthy New York heiress Mable Dodge Luhan was a lifelong patron of the arts. D.H. Lawrence and Georgia O’Keeffe were among many artists and writers invited to stay at her house in Taos. These days, the picture-perfect adobe lodge (built in 1918) operates as a bed and breakfast-cum-art retreat. Hone your painting skills on a five-day course or bed down in “The O’Keefe Room” on the second floor, where Georgia slept during her frequent visits. —By Edmund Vallance