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Entries in Museum of International Folk Art (1)

Friday
Jan062012

Museum hopping in Santa Fe

Alongside the amazing number of galleries in Santa Fe, is an equally amazing number of museums. I was not able to visit them all, but I certainly enjoyed the ones I visited. And I want to go back to visit the ones I missed! 

Top of my list to visit was the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. It is located on the edge of the downtown Plaza area, less than a 10-minute walk from where we stayed.

I have seen some Georgia O'Keefe paintings at other museums and even got to take in an O'Keefe exhibit at the Mpls Institute of Arts a few years back. It is certainly inspiring to see her work in person. Some paintings are smaller than you might imagine when you only see them in a book. All are striking; vibrant and in a way, personal. At the entrance of the museum they showed a few short films about O'Keefe that included interviews with her. Her voice echoed in my ears as I walked through the galleries looking at her work. Being in New Mexico, surrounded by the land that so often inspired her--it was easy to imagine her standing before her canvas, painting.  I felt a little like I was in heaven while I was there.

It was interesting to see a range of her work, from very early sketches to paintings completed late in her career.  I especially enjoyed seeing some very early watercolors that I've never seen--at least not in person.

If I ever get the chance to visit Santa Fe again, I will definitely return to this museum. Oh, and a heads-up tip for you: your museum admission is good for the entire day--so make a day of it! Start your visit in the morning, then enjoy some lunch (and maybe some shopping) on the Plaza, and come back to take it all in again. I could have spent all day here--and I did return for a second peek the day of my visit. I've heard that they do rotate the work on exhibit ...so you can certainly return on a later trip and see different work. In fact, the museum will be closed January 16th-26th for exhibition changeover. I will be back! (I admit to dreaming of having the job of the museum gallery guards...how bad could that job be?)

I was equally impressed by a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Art, which houses an incredible permament collection featuring the work of several artists that lived/work in New Mexico in the same time period as O'Keefe. It also has plenty of room for several special exhibits, which change out frequently. At the time of our visit, the museum also had on display the work of printmaker Gustave Baumann, who at one time worked from a studio in the basement of the museum! His work was incredible and worth the museum admission alone. (And yes, I did daydream about having a job in this museum as well! I mean, my job at the Science Museum should payoff some way!)

Both these museums were located in the downtown Plaza area, just a 10 minute walk from where we stayed.

The third museum that I visited during our trip was the Museum of International Folk Art. It is located on Museum Hill, just a short drive from where we stayed. Museum Hill is home to four museums, making it well worth a visit. In fact, if you plan ahead and are interested in visiting multiple museums there are different museum passes (and discounts) available to you.

For this visit, we stuck with the Folk Art museum ... a wise decision since there was plenty to keep us interested for several hours. An added bonus--you are allowed to take pictures in the exhibit spaces! So I will leave you with a few pics from my visit to the Museum of International Folk Art--

 

 

 

 

Although you might not be able to make a trip to Santa Fe, you can click on the links to the museums and visit the museum galleries online. Not as good, but still good!

Up next: Santa Fe Wrap-up!