"When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it, that was my country. It fitted to me exactly."
Georgia O'Keeffe came to New Mexico in 1929 and left a legacy that had a huge impact on the modern American art scene. She drew inspiration from this unique environment and brought the rich colours and harsh nature to the world. She discovered Ghost Runch in fall 1934, an extraordinary colorful, 25,000 acre painted desert, some 20 miles north of Abiquiu, New Mexico and about a couple of hours from Sante Fe.
In 1936, O'Keeffe rented Ranchos de los Burros a small adobe house about 3 miles from the main complex of Ghost Ranch (she finally bought it in 1940) where she painted aspects of the view she saw every morning from the picture window of her bedroom. She greatly enjoyed watching part of the cliffs nearby becoming an immense waterfull when extensive rainstorms swept the desert and a black water cascaded down the cliffs to the desert floor. Here she has painted only a section of this massive form, which she often did with her subjects. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Old Town, Sante Fe is a lovely way to be introduced to her art. All the information above is from the museum. If you are anywhere near Sante Fe or Abiguiu go and find out what Georgia O'Keeffe saw and discover the most beautiful landscape.
Here is Black Hills with Cedar painted in 1940 and a picture of Georgia O'Keeffe.
From 15 February to 5 May, 2013 the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is showing Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage. This travelling exhibition is organised by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and includes 64 photographs taken between April 2009 and May 2011. The pictures do not have people in them, but are still portaits of subjects that shape Leibovitz's view of who has shaped American culture. She visited the homes of iconic figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickenson, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pete Seeger, Elvis Presley, Annie Oakley, Ansel Adams as well as iconic US sites such as Niagra Falls, Yosemite Valley, Walden Pond and Old Faithful. It is quite stunning and it was wonderful to stumble upon it. If you cannot get to the travelling exhibition, there is a book of course, you can get it here.
My favourite image was of the television set Elvis Presley shot in 1970, in a storage room at Graceland. I also quite liked Jacob Lott’s farm, East Cavalry Field, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2010.