The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opened to the public in July 1997, eleven years after the death of the artist from whom it takes its name. Welcoming more than 2,225,000 visitors from all over the world and being the most visited art museum in the state of New Mexico, it is the only museum in the world dedicated to an internationally-known woman artist.
One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.” She was a leading member of the Stieglitz Circle artists, headed by Alfred Stieglitz, America’s first advocate of modern art in America. These avant-garde artists began to flourish in New York in the 1910s. O’Keeffe’s images—instantly recognizable as her own —include abstractions, large-scale depictions of flowers, leaves, rocks, shells, bones, and other natural forms, New York cityscapes, and paintings of the unusual shapes and colors of architectural and landscape forms of northern New Mexico.
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. Throughout the year, visitors can see a changing selection of these works. In addition, the Museum presents special exhibitions that are either devoted entirely to O’Keeffe’s work or combine examples of her art with works by her American modernist contemporaries. The Museum also organizes exhibitions of works by her contemporaries, as well as by living artists of distinction. Over 140 artists other than O’Keeffe have been exhibited at the Museum, such as Arthur Dove, Sherrie Levine, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center opened in July 2001 as a component of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. As the only museum-related research facility in the world dedicated to the study of American Modernism (1890s to present), it sponsors research in the fields of art history, architectural history and design, literature, music, and photography. Its annual, competitive stipend program awards six stipends to qualified applicants who can spend three to twelve months at the Research Center, which makes its library, collections, and unique archives accessible to researchers worldwide as well as to its in-house scholars.
The Museum and its Research Center are both Pueblo Revival-style buildings located two blocks from the historic Santa Fe Plaza and were renovated in 1997 and 2001, respectively, by Gluckman Mayner Architects, New York.