Tuesday morning we sprang out of bed at the crack of 8:30, had a leisurely breakfast and set out from Taos to Santa Fe. We planned to hit the Georgia O’Keeffe museum as well as the shops and galleries around the central plaza. As the main road to Santa Fe is at the hotel’s doorstep, the GPS first instruction is ” Left on Paseo Del Pueblo Norte and drive sixty-four miles”. You would think it would be hard to get lost. You would be wrong.
The O’Keeffe museum was excellent. We purchased the audio guides and enjoyed the entire museum….in 45 minutes or so. Puzzled, we asked about another wing or a second floor. We were told that we had seen it all, but they do rotate the collection every four months. We thanked him and left.
Due to the paucity of photos of actual O’Keeffe art, I offer this shot from the gift shop.
We are used to being overwhelmed by the size of the best museums we visit. Many just can’t be adequately covered in a day. But this bite-sized gem left us the rest of the day to explore Santa Fe.
So wE headed off to the famous Plaza, a National Historic Landmark surrounded by shops galleries and restaurants.
San Francisco Street at the Plaza.
The Plaza, itself. It is a pleasant, sunny little park that could use a bit more shade, but it is probably too early yet for the trees to fully blossom.
The surrounding shops, however, were disappointing. Although the architecture was all carefully authentic to the locale and the period, the art and other goods on display quickly became repetitious and the few items that did catch the eye were priced for a more well-heeled tourist. Cowboy-ing must be a very lucrative profession, as the western wear for sale was very expensive. No chaps for Jeff.
Fortunately, a furniture shop proprietor had previously told us that the galleries on Canyon Road were not to be missed. To get there, we walked by the historic (of course) Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi.
It was beautiful inside, with all of the tortured iconography you would expect.
The altar screen on the side altar had lots of almost contemporary figures, such as the singing nun (top row, second left).
But the Stations of the Cross caught my eye. The local artist (my guess) seemed to choose pretty nonchalant expressions for the subjects of this dramatic ordeal. Even Gangnam-style Jesus seems pretty unconcerned with his fate.
Then off to Canyon Road.
Canyon Road is lined with galleries and beautiful period adobe architecture. Unlike downtown, these galleries are not exclusively southwestern art. Just about every genre of contemporary painting, sculpture and folk art is represented and the talent and unique vision on display is impressive.
Everything was so well presented.
And accessible, in every sense.
And then, just as my feet were about to give out, an oasis of surrealism!
Pure imagination, superbly rendered.
Everything on the Road is worth a picture. We took dozens.
Footsore and hungry, we shared a nice lunch at a cafe on the Road and headed back to the car.