While we normally spotlight a favorite architect in this series on our blog, you guys seemed to really love our dive into Cape Cod’s Modernist homes last month. This got us thinking about other famous homes that we really love rather than particular architects, which led us to Georgia O’Keeffe.
If you’re already a fan of O’Keeffe and her famous homes, then you know what we’re talking about. The renowned painter’s two New Mexico homes were often the backdrops in her paintings, and they both have this incredible sparse, yet lived-in feel that you just can’t replicate.
The first, Ghost Ranch, is located about an hour outside of Santa Fe in the high desert. One of the country’s first environmentalists, Arthur Pack, purchased the ranch and sold a piece of it to O’Keeffe because she loved visiting the area to work on her paintings. The ranch got its (undeniably badass) name because many years earlier, cattle rustlers would hide stolen goods there. To deter neighbors from poking around, they started a rumor that the area was haunted by spirits. The turn-off to the ranch was always marked by a large animal skull, but it wasn’t until O’Keeffe famously incorporated the skull into her paintings that it really became the unofficial symbol.
O’Keeffe bought her second home, Abiquiú, in 1945. It would later become her home and studio, and while she previously spent only summers in New Mexico, she moved there more permanently after her husband’s death in 1949. Abiquiú was in ruins when O’Keeffe purchased it, but she lovingly restored the 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era home over the next four years. O’Keeffe lived and painted between Ghost Ranch and Abiquiú until 1984, when she moved to Santa Fe because of her deteriorating health.
Today, you can take tours of both homes and even stay overnight, which sounds like a pretty dreamy getaway to us.