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Reimagined Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Will Triple Its Gallery Space

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For nearly 25 years, American modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe has been honored in a museum that is not much bigger than two tennis courts.

Now, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is planning a relocation that will cost between $60 million and $65 million, and will nearly triple the gallery space, from about 5,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet.

“Our collection has grown, and the new, substantially larger facility will allow us to show more of it,” Cody Hartley, the museum’s director since 2019, said Friday.

The current location, which opened in 1997, originally housed 40 O’Keeffe paintings. The museum had always hoped to expand, Hartley said, but as the years went on and its permanent collection grew to more than 3,000 works — the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation donated 981 items in 2006, the year it dissolved — it became clear relocation would be the better option.

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In 2018, museum officials identified a 54,000-square-foot building, only 500 or so feet from its present location, as the new site. The large space, which used to be a Safeway grocery store, is now the museum’s education center. Eighty percent of the estimated cost has already been committed, Hartley said. The lead donor is Anne Burnett Windfohr Marion, a prominent Texas rancher, oil heiress and patron of the arts who died last year. She had helped found the museum.

Gluckman Tang Architects of New York — which designed the original museum as well as the renovation and expansion of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan — will oversee the project. The new space is expected to open in 2024.

O’Keeffe, who died in 1986, worked in New Mexico throughout her career and lived in Santa Fe during her final years. The museum is the largest publicly accessible collection of her work and one of the few museums in the country dedicated to a female artist.—NYT

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