Ghost Ranch: Spirituality & Art

Arthur and Phoebe Pack at Ghost Ranch.

In 1934 Arthur and Phoebe Pack were the owners of Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico. The couple sold a parcel of land on the ranch to Georgia O’Keeffe in 1940. Fifteen years later, the Packs donated the entire ranch to the Presbyterian Church. Today, Ghost Ranch operates as a spiritual retreat. Thousands visit annually seeking solace in an area now known as O’Keeffe Country.

Love & Creativity

In 1916 Georgia O’Keeffe went to see an exhibit of the work of Marsden Hartley in New York at the 291 Gallery. A chance encounter took place with the gallery owner, Alfred Stieglitz. O’Keeffe, who was born in 1887, had been an art school teacher in Texas. When she came to New York she was just starting her career as an artist. Stieglitz, who was  was 24 years older than O’Keeffe, became  enamored with her both artistically and emotionally. Soon after they met they began an affair and had an exhibit of her work at the 291 Gallery.  Stieglitz divorced his first wife and married O’Keeffe in 1924.

Pedernal Mountain

Georgia O’Keeffe’s love affair with New Mexico began in 1929 when she first visited the state. In 1946, after the death of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe moved permanently to Abiquiu. She spent the rest of her life at the ranch. The artist’s images of skulls and flowers have become an ubiquitous representation of the American southwest.

Museum in Santa Fe

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum opened in 1997. The most widely attended cultural institution in New Mexico, the museum attracts people throughout the world. In 1998 her Abiquiu home and studio became a Historic National Landmark. O’Keeffe died in 1986. Her ashes are scattered at the top of Pedernal Mountain. The final resting place is a part of the expansive northern New Mexico vista immortalized in her paintings that is often referred to “O’Keeffe Country.”

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