The artist Georgia O’Keefe is an old favorite of House Crazy Sarah’s. Her large, vibrant paintings depicting the beauty in natural things, made her the darling of the mid-century American art world.
Her former home and studio in Abiquiú, New Mexico is now a historic house museum. She lived in this home from 1943 until her death in 1986.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio became a National Historic Landmark in 1998 because it is one of the most important art sites in the southwestern United States
Notably, O’Keeffe is the record holder for a female artist with the highest paid price for a painting. In 2014, a museum in Arkansas bought O’Keeffe’s painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (pictured below) for $44.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction.
Before becoming a world renowned painter, Georgia O’Keeffe was born into a large family in Wisconsin. She excelled in her artistic talents but left art school early to define her own style. Her unique images eventually caught the attention of gallery owners in New York.
She moved to New York in 1918. But she was taken by the natural world, and after a visit to the American southwest, she fell in love with the desert landscape. O’Keeffe eventually moved to Abiquiú, a small town in New Mexico north of Santa Fe.
This is the home where she had her most important creative years.
The exterior images are spare and beautiful; you can see how O’Keeffe was inspired by the sunbaked landscape and mystical blue skies.
Here is O’Keeffe in the studio part of her adobe home, opening up the drapes to reveal the vista beyond…
The Main Room
The living room, or main room, is set up today just as O’Keeffe had it at the time of her death.
The thick, heavy vigas (ceiling beams) are off-set with the light flooding in from the large window.
Interestingly, when Georgia O’Keeffe bought this house in 1945, it was abandoned and in a state of disrepair.
O’Keeffe renovated the space to her liking so she could live and work here. She officially moved in full-time after her husband’s death in 1946.
Also in 1946, Georgia O’Keeffe made history by becoming the first woman to have her own exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
The Kitchen & Dining Room
Look at the preserved vintage kitchen stove and sink cabinet!
Can you envision the artist spending her days here, sitting at her long table, looking out over the New Mexico landscape?
Notice the old wall heater at the back of the room? It is admirable that the museum maintained all these vintage elements!
The Studio / Bedroom
Georgia’s small single bed was tucked demurely in one corner of her large, open studio.
At the other end of the room was her painting area.
It is inspiring to see the space where she created some of her most famous paintings.
Her home was as simple as it was beautiful.
Fun fact about O’Keeffe: she was a dog lover but was partial to Chow Chows – that was the only breed she ever owned.
She had six Chow companions in her lifetime.
In her later years, O’Keeffe was diagnosed with macular degeneration, which eventually robbed her of her vision. Nonetheless, she continued painting even after she became totally blind.
O’Keeffe died here in her adobe home at the age of 98 in 1986.