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New Mexico Reimagined at Star Ranch, Chimayo, NM
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Although Georgia O’Keeffe painted pictures of skyscrapers in New York City and in Hawaii, flowers, landscapes, and traditional Hawaiian fish hooks...she will always be best known for her stark and compelling interpretations of the northern New Mexico landscape. She often talked about her fondness for Ghost Ranch and Northern New Mexico, as in 1943, when she explained: "Such a beautiful, untouched lonely feeling place, such a fine part of what I call the 'Faraway'. It is a place I have painted before . . . even now I must do it again." Ghost Ranch - O’Keeffe Landscape Experience Tour the landscape of Ghost Ranch by bus and see through your own eyes the scenes and actual locations of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings interwoven with stories of her fifty years at Ghost Ranch.  (Available 4 days a week, June - November) Ghost Ranch - Walk in Georgia O’Keeffe’s Footsteps This walking tour takes you through what O’Keeffe called “her red hills,” the Chinle formation.  Total walking distance is 1.5 miles.   (Available Fridays, March - November) Ghost Ranch - O’Keeffe Trail Ride and Tour This Ride is for intermediate riders, ages 12 and up.  You will ride out to the area where Georgia O’Keeffe found her inspiration, completed several paintings and owned a home. This trail ride enters the restricted area of Ghost Ranch where you see the shining red and yellow cliffs of the Piedra Lumbre, the black trails of waterfalls against canyon walls, and her beloved Pedernal Mountain, interwoven with stories of her fifty years at Ghost Ranch. (Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, Year Round) Ghost Ranch - Georgia O’Keeffe’s Home Ms. O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch home is not currently open to visitors. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe The Museum’s collection of over 3,000 works comprises 1,149 O’Keeffe paintings, drawings, and sculptures that date from 1901 to 1984, the year failing eyesight forced O’Keeffe into retirement. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is the largest single repository of O'Keeffe's work in the world. The White Place The White Place is what Ms. O’Keeffe called the Plaza Blanca cliffs and badlands near Abiquiu, NM, where she purchased her second home.  The Plaza Blanca cliffs are located on what is now Dar al Islam Mosque property.  Visitors are usually welcome, when movie makers a not camped out in the area filming.  The Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio in Abiquiu, NM Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) bought her house in Abiquiu in 1945.  The 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era Abiquiu compound was in ruins in 1945, and for the next four years, O’Keeffe supervised its restoration.  She moved from New York to make New Mexico her permanent home in 1949, and lived either at the Abiquiu or Ghost Ranch houses until 1984. (Open selected days, March - October) The Black Place As early as 1936, O'Keeffe developed an intense interest in what is called the "Black Place", which was about 150 miles west of her Ghost Ranch house and a large area now called the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness.  She made an extensive series of paintings of this site in the 1940s.  O'Keeffe said that the Black Place resembled "a mile of elephants with gray hills and white sand at their feet." At times the wind was so strong when she was painting there that she had trouble keeping her canvas on the easel. When the heat from the sun became intense, she crawled under her car for shade. The Black Place still remains remote and uninhabited. Northern New Mexico Villages and Penitentes Ms. O’Keeffe was move by the rugged landscapes and quaint villages of northern New Mexico.  Her series of paintings that included black crosses drew inspiration from the Penitente crosses often found outside of modest morada or chapel that serves the secretive and fanatical sect called the Penitentes.  An offshoot of Catholicism, the Penitentes believe that suffering is the path to heaven.  We will see one such morada and cross in the tiny town of Truchas, and perhaps others as we traverse the area. San Francisco de Asis Mission Church This church was built between 1772 and 1816 by Franciscan Fathers, and its patron is Saint Francis of Assisi. It is made of adobe as are many of the Spanish missions in New Mexico. It is located a few miles south of Taos Pueblo and has inspired among the greatest number of depictions of any building in the United States. It was the subject of four paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, and photographs by Ansel Adams and Paul Strand.  O'Keeffe described it as, "one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards."  It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.  It is also designated as a World Heritage church.

For Your Comfort

Please bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a jacket, and dress in layers.  Outside temperatures can vary widely with season, time of day, and elevation. If you are taking the horseback tour, you must wear jeans or other sturdy long pants, boots with heels, and sunscreen. Be sure to bring a lot of water and juice with you.  It is very easy to become dehydrated in the dry, desert heat.
Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico