Plaza Museums and Galleries
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
217 Johnson St., Plaza
This museum doesn’t require much of a prelude, beyond the simple promise of housing more than 1,000 works by the legendary Georgia O’Keeffe. The museum’s main campus, located just a few blocks away from the downtown Plaza, immerses you in O’Keeffe’s creative process through an exploration of the light and landscape that inspired her. It’s an oasis of 20th-century Modernism, presenting everything from the pioneering American artist’s iconic flowers to her less-well known (but prolific) drawings and oil paintings. And, if you’re up for it, you can set up an appointment to get the museum’s tour of her former home and studio along the Chama River about an hour north of Santa Fe.
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
108 Cathedral Pl., Plaza
The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is part of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), an entire college with a curriculum focused on contemporary native art—the only like it in the country. The museum is located off-campus in a historic building just off the plaza downtown. There, you'll find exhibitions of new work along with pieces from the National Collection of Contemporary Native Art, a 7500-work collection (every piece in it was created after 1962) that it stewards. The artists here range from nationally recognized to local newcomers; taken together, it's the kind of experience that's completely unique to Santa Fe.