A Day at the MuseumWestward Ho, Day 48: Santa Fe, NM
With Santa Fe's reputation as a cultural mecca, a visit to a few of the city's many museums topped our agenda for today. Our first stop was the museum of the artist whose name is synonymous with modern art in New Mexico—Georgia O'Keeffe. Though neither of us is a particular fan of the artist, since our tastes lean more toward impressionism than her version of precisionism, her work cannot be ignored in Santa Fe.
|Black Hollyhock and Blue Larkspur, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1930|
From the "O'K," we moved on to the New Mexico History Museum at the historic Palace of the Governors, a building which dates back to 1610 and for many years served as the seat of government in Santa Fe. The oldest building in continuous use in the U.S., the palace has housed Spanish, Mexican, and American government offices, and since 1909 has been home to the New Mexico History Museum.
|Palace of the Governors|
The final museum we visited was by far our favorite. Opened in 1953, the Museum of International Folk Art is home to more than 135,000 artifacts, making it the world's largest repository of folk art. Three of the museum's four wings house short-term exhibits from the museum's collection and traveling exhibitions. The Girard wing, the museum's most popular, showcases a permanent exhibit of folk art, toys, miniatures, and textiles from more than 100 nations.
|Latin American Toy Shop|
|Some of the masks from the Girard collection|
|A tiny corner of the Multiple Visions exhibit|
Other wings of the museum held more customary exhibits, which were also excellent though they lacked the playful appeal of the Girard wing. All in all, we rated the Museum of International Folk Art one of the best we've visited in recent memory.
Tomorrow we'll leave Santa Fe and continue our trek eastward. Since we have found a letterbox in New Mexico, part two of our 2012 'Great 48' goal is complete: we have found a letterbox in each of the 48 contiguous states. Six more boxes need to be planted by December 31. We have the boxes ready, but will the weather gods interfere with our plan to get to Alabama and plant our last box on New Year's Eve? The Weather Channel is rattling snow shovels in Oklahoma City next week when we're there.
More Photos from Today
|A few of the Girard amulets|
|Detail from a Day of the Dead vignette of Mexican folk art objects|
|Polish Christmas scene|
|Girard's logo for the Multiple Visions exhibit|
|19th century village diorama|
|Tree of Life (Mexico)|
|Heaven and Hell|
|A sign we'd like to see at more museums|