Pelvises and Nekkid Pictures: Inside the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
If there's any artist who is synonymous with New Mexico, it's modernist painter Georgia O'Keeffe. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is the most-visited museum in the state, with more than 2 million people coming each year to see her famous desert landscapes.
The museum is pretty small, but it holds the biggest collection of O'Keeffe works. When you enter, there’s a screening room to the right that plays a short film on the artist's life. It reveals, for example, how just before O'Keeffe's first exhibition, another artist (who later became her husband) showcased nekkid photos of her. That led critics to read her art as sexual for the rest of her career, which she hated.
Something unique to the museum is that it displays the bones that O'Keeffe collected from the desert and used as her muses. Horse and ram skulls are displayed along the paintings they inspired. A pelvis sits in a glass case near the abstract Pelvis Series oil paintings. There are also sketches she made of her parents when she was a teen, which showed her early aptitude for art, and photos of O'Keeffe exploring the desert.
And while everyone has seen O'Keeffe's vibrant, colorful flower paintings and those stunning desert pieces, but the museum also shows some of her city-inspired work. "A Street," from 1926, shows a dark city alley with grays and browns.
Tickets to the museum are $10. Get there by 10:30 a.m., and you can get a docent-led tour. The museum is a must for any O'Keeffe fan and even casual admirers of the artist.
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[Photo: Jennifer Kester]