She was visiting Santa Fe, N.M. and more specifically the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, and is one of my favorite places on earth. You simply can’t go wrong there; a museum filled with the incredible works of O’Keeffe, in the middle of one of the loveliest areas of New Mexico.
I remember visiting the museum several years back and enjoying every moment. It’s nothing like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, my local museum, which is incredible in its own right, but on a much grander scale. Rather, it resembles an adobe style home in the middle of a residential neighborhood, giving it a straightforward appeal.
While there I took in two of my favorite paintings, Red Poppy and Black and Purple Petunias, prints of which hang in my dining room. It was incredible to see the actual work and brush strokes on the canvas.
A few years later, in 2000, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC offered an O’Keeffe exhibit, and when I read that my most favorite painting would be displayed, the three-hour ride seemed minimal. Ladder to the Moon is a simple painting, but it makes me feel hopeful, and full of possibilities when I look at it.
The technical aspect of art is lost on me; I’ve never taken a fine arts class and don’t know how to interpret correctly many of the paintings I admire. That’s fine. I much prefer the way I feel when I see a painting by O’Keeffe, or perhaps Vincent Van Gogh, who’s Van Gogh Up Close exhibit I was able to see this past spring at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers makes me feel wonderful, too. The magic of art is like that sometimes.