Perched at 7,199 feet and lined with low-slung, Pueblo-style architecture and terra-cotta-hued buildings, Santa Fe’s sprawling landscape, painterly sunsets, adobe churches dating to the 1600s, and rich arts and cultural history has lured the likes of famous artists including Gustave Baumann, Will Shuster, Marsden Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe. From Canyon Road, dotted with more than 100 art galleries, to the newly reimagined Bishop’s Lodge, offering a slew of hands-on arts experiences, here’s where to get inspired.
Purépecha water jar at Heritage by Hand
Opened in 1997 to honor the art and legacy of renowned American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s collections span 150 paintings, works on paper, watercolors, sculptures and photographs. Watch a video on O’Keeffe’s life and work, or visit the museum shop for art tomes, western felt hats and note cards. For a detailed look at her workplace and residence, book a tour of her home and studio in Abiquiú (about 53 miles north of Santa Fe.) Advanced museum ticket reservations required; advanced tickets required for Home & Studio tour.
Indian Head Nickel at New Mexico Museum of Art
At Meow Wolf, dive into an interactive and fantastical universe with more than 70 rooms of immersive art installations in a former bowling alley-gone-art venue. Gather clues to a secret story while stepping into a real-life refrigerator and sliding down a washing machine, meandering through glow-in-the-dark tunnels, and perusing exhibitions made entirely of baubles, pom-poms and candy-like materials.
Established in 1917 as the first building in the state dedicated to art, the New Mexico Museum of Art houses an expansive compilation of 20,000 works including landscapes by Gustave Baumann, oil-on-canvas paintings by Gerald Cassidy, and a steel sculpture entitled Sluice by Tom Waldron.
Virgin, Saints & Angels | Photographed by Daniel Nadelbach
Housed in a former art gallery space in the city’s Railyard Arts District, Virgins, Saints & Angels is appointed with 30-foot-high ceilings, gilded mirrors, distressed wooden dressers, Mexican nichos (decorative shadow boxes) and vintage Mexican folk art-style iron crosses. Opened in 2020, the flagship store features handcrafted jewelry made in San Miguel de Allende such as the oval Sacred Heart pearl Magdalena necklace, vintage San Benito ring with a San Benito medallion topped with resin, and bejeweled crowns and halos.
Owned by Heidi McKinnon, Heritage by Hand is a socially responsible lifestyle brand and well-edited trove filled with upcycled jewelry crafted with raw cotton and recycled horn; hand-hammered copper vases by artisans in Mexico; and burnished ceramic jars from a Purépecha community in Huáncito, Michoacán, Mexico.
New Mexico Museum of Art exterior
“I started Heritage by Hand because I wanted to share my aesthetic and what I was seeing and experiencing in the handmade world with a like-minded audience and community,” says Heidi, whose background in museum development and working with indigenous communities across Latin America prompted her to open the store a year-and-a-half-ago. “There is a distinct quality or tone to everything handmade.”
Stocked with a mix of handmade pieces inspired by nature, Wild Life offers home wares such as a 19th-century, yellow-glazed confit jar from the Pyrenees, handwoven Laotian indigo textiles and hand-painted Iberian ceramic dinner plates.
Four Seasons Rancho Encantado
Rest and Reset
Set on 317 acres, Bishop’s Lodge from the Auberge Resorts Collection was originally settled 150 years ago by Bishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy. Now carefully restored, the luxury 83-room property features rooms and suites with private terraces and kiva fireplaces; the Turquesa Healing Arts Studio with yoga, meditation, spa treatments and chakra-balancing practices; and an artist-in-residence program featuring interactive experiences with artists and experts, as well as guided walking tours of galleries along Canyon Road, in partnership with Santa Fe Art Tours. On-site, learn the art of ancient lettering with a calligraphy style called Textura Quadrata, or brush up on pastel painting techniques and skills with an Introduction to Pastels class led by artist Katie Rodgers.
Above: Bishop’s Lodge
Tucked away approximately 20 minutes north of Santa Fe, Four Seasons Rancho Encantado is replete with 65 Southwestern-inspired rooms and nine suites; a spa with a meditative labyrinth; Terra, a signature restaurant and bar; and an adventure center with mountain bike tours and custom art and culture excursions. Reserve a spot for the new Boots and Bubbles experience with a private tour of beloved bootery Back at the Ranch, with founder and boot designer Wendy Henry. Sift through more than 700 designs or create your own. Sample a flight of premium wines at the local tasting room of Gruet Winery and take home a complimentary half-bottle of Gruet’s Doux NV.
Residing on a corner of the historic Santa Fe Plaza, La Fonda on the Plaza’s site is the oldest hotel corner in the country (established in the 1600s.) The 180-room hotel—the current structure was first built in 1922 by architects Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and John Gaw Meem—is fashioned with handcarved beams, stained glass skylights, hand-painted headboards by local artists, thunderbird carvings above the guest elevators, and original artwork by artists including Jamie Chase, Paul Lantz, Vladan Stiha and Maria Allison. Start the day with huevos rancheros or a New Mexico burrito with smoky black beans and chorizo at the hotel’s famed eatery, La Plazuela, with 400 hand-painted windows by artist and former La Fonda employee Ernest Martinez. Follow with a complimentary docent-led art tour of the hotel’s textiles, paintings and history. (Check with concierge for tour availability due to COVID-19.)