Santa Feans are fortunate to have a broad array of museums housing collections of brilliant, fun, quirky, beautiful and sometimes painful works of art, and artifacts of history. Spend some time wandering these glorious hubs of art and culture.
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
217 Johnson St., 946-1000, okeeffemuseum.org
The spot to sit and soak in the genius of the Southwest's goddess of creativity herself. The white plaster walls highlight the minimalist aesthetic of works from museum's permanent collection. Check out the special tours Monday-Friday at 3 pm, led by artist Liz Brindley ($40, including general museum admission).
Museum of Contemporary Native Art
108 Cathedral Place, 983-8900, iaia.edu/venue/iaia-museum-contemporary-native-arts
Dedicated to showcasing progressive works by Native artists, this museum focuses not only on the Southwest, and not only on art that can hang on a wall. New Impressions is a group show on view until June 15, 2017, featuring works by contemporary Native printmakers. A mural installation by Daniel McCoy, inspired by underground comics and album covers, The Ceaseless Quest for Utopia, is on view until January 2018.
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
710 Camino Lejo, 476-1269, indianartsandculture.org
Native pottery and intricate jewelry make up the permanent collection at this Museum Hill venue. Paintings by renowned Onondaga/Nez Perce artist Frank Buffalo Hyde—colorful images with a political edge—are on display through January 2018.
Museum of International Folk Art
706 Camino Lejo, 476-1200, internationalfolkart.org
A beloved, family-friendly collection filled with history, handmade textiles and folk art from cultures around the world. See Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico, which explores the art of flamenco dance, through September 2017, or No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art, through September 2018.
Museum of Spanish Colonial Art
750 Camino Lejo, 982-2226, spanishcolonial.org
The only museum of its kind in the country, it focuses on the Spanish colonial era in America, featuring authentic Spanish artwork in a Saltillo-tiled space that feels like an old adobe hacienda. Shows include Mirror, Mirror: Portraits of Frida Kahlo, which delves extensively into Kahlo's life as an artist, lover and revolutionary, through October 2017.
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Ave., 476-5200, nmhistorymuseum.org
A time capsule of state history takes visitors on a chronological journey through New Mexico history, from prehistory to modern times. See religious artifacts from around New Mexico, including bultos and retablos in Tesoros de Devoción, or learn about the legendary Fred Harvey Company (and its Harvey Girls) in the long-term display Setting the Standard.
New Mexico Museum of Art
107 W Palace Ave., 476-5072, nmartmuseum.org
See historic works from New Mexico, a rotating exhibit repertoire and an internationally famous roster of drawings from artists like Picasso and Cézanne in the exhibit Lines of Thought, or explore subversive photography with artists Meggan Gould and Andy Mattern in Light Tight, both through Sept. 17, 2017.
Palace of the Governors
105 W Palace Ave., 476-5100, palaceofthegovernors.org
In the 1600s, this low adobe building was the seat of government from which Spain reigned over the entire Southwest. Now, it houses art and artifacts from the state's long history. Don't miss the contemporary exhibits too, like Out of the Box, which features cigar box art through October 2017.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas
334 Los Pinos Road, 471-2261, golondrinas.org
This living history museum occupies 200 acres of land shaded by giant cottonwoods and dotted with buildings, some of which date to the 1700s, when it was a trading stop along the Camino Real. Today it is the site of frequent re-enactments and events like the Herb and Lavender Festival, Harvest Festival and Renaissance Fair.
SITE Santa Fe
1606 Paseo de Peralta, 989-1199, sitesantafe.org
Expected to reopen with an expanded home in fall 2017, keep your eyes peeled so you don't miss whatever this innovative, contemporary space does next.
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
704 Camino Lejo, 986-4636, wheelwright.org
Contemporary and historic Native textiles, artwork and a huge display of traditional jewelry illuminate traditional Indigenous life. Bits and Bridles: Treasures from the Southwest puts early Navajo equestrian gear in the spotlight.