Visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Home and Studio

Jon at Georgia O’Keeffe’s house and studio in Abiquiu

About 16 years ago I lived for six months about an hour and a half from Georgia OKeeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu, but I never visited there.

Today Jon and I visited both Ghost Ranch and O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu.  At Ghost Ranch, O’Keeffe was present in the landscape she painted so many times.  Her home there isn’t open to the public.  It’s mostly a retreat center for hiking and workshops.

I made our reservations to take a tour at O’Keeffe’s  Abiquiu home and studio the day after we got our plane tickets.  That was 7 months ago.  I wasn’t going to miss it this time.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house, but I was able to get a few pictures outside, which include some of  the iconic doorways and ladders, the adobe walls that she painted as much as the landscape.

One of Georgia O’Keeffe’s many rock collections
I couldn’t resist a Vivian Maier inspired shadow self-portrait on the wall inside the courtyard.

My breath caught and I felt my eyes tear up as we stepped into O’Keeffe’s studio.  Although it was no longer set up as a studio, she had stopped painting by the time she left the house for Santa Fe when she was in her late 90’s, the space itself was so beautiful with its spare white walls and giants windows giving the feeling of being inside and outside at the same time.

And from photo’s I’ve seen and things I’ve read, I could imagine her there, painting those large minimal abstracts that she painted later in life.

The whole house itself was like one of her paintings.  Just the right amount of everything, placed just so in each room.  Including her closet still with some of her dresses, shoes and hats in it.

All purposeful and achingly beautiful.

The floors of the dining room and the room she listened to music in every night, were a combination of dirt, four and water.  I wondered what it must be like to be so close to the earth in your own home.

I was inspired to say the least.

Jon and I will travel back to Abiquiu in the next few days to visit “The White Place” a landscape of white rocks that O’Keeffe painted again and again.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu Home and Studio

  1. Thank you again, for posting. You will love the White Place. I was back in there alone, at the end of March this year. Another world, for sure. So glad you are getting to these wondrous haunts. At Ghost Ranch, I once hiked up Chimney Rock, then the next to the back of the box canyon, and up this skinny climb to reach the top of Kitchen Mesa. I have always felt that Georgia and I shared the same blood, in so many ways. I even named one of my Border Collie/Australian Shepherds after her. I ended up calling her George, but she was my forever Georgia. Enjoy the rest of your time. I am sure you will return home with many visions and dreams that will become part of your work, as it comes from the inner soul.

  2. I have always considered dirt floors a sign of poverty and now I did a big mental switch and consider them living close to the earth. People in my family’s town in Romania had a dirt floor in a room all the men were crowded around a TV watching soccer, an image that will stick in my mind forever.

    1. I always did too Sharon. The image of women sweeping dirt floors is very different from the floors in OKeeffe’s house which were stabilized with the mix of four and water.

  3. I loved Plaza Blanca. We were there just a few weeks ago and the weather was perfect. Clouds rolling in and out. I’m going thru photos now trying to choose which to print for our walls at home. I’ve never seen any place else like it. We were there the day after a massive rainstorm and the whole landscape had been washed clean. It smelled divine and the colors were incredibly sharp. All the desert plants were in full bloom – cacti, sage, prickly pear, juniper, Indian Paintbrush, etc. Just enchanting.

  4. Yes…you caught the magic, just as my dearest friend Kitty and I did when we were there in 2006.

    She remembers ththe tea, we both remember the kitchen, the fireplace and the garden. I remember that garden particularly. It was the first time I had ever heard about water rights. That…was a shock. I mean…water??? It was and.remains terrifying to me.
    If you have the opportunity, please visit Keshi’s tiny store in Santa Fe. I believe you will love their Zuni fetishes and imagine you and Jon will find a pair that are you and he.
    Blessings.

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