With its pinon perfumed mountain air under a clear blue New Mexico sky, Santa Fe is one of my favorite places. Spanish and Native American influences combine to define its food, architecture and culture.
The New Mexico Museum of Art, set smack dab in the middle of town's historical plaza, is one of four museums that comprise the Museum of New Mexico: The New Mexico History Museum in the Palace of the Governors is located one block to the east, and the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture are located on Museum Hill.
Built in 1917, the architects based the design on the graceful simplicity of 300 year-old mission churches at Acoma and other pueblos, thus establishing the Pueblo Spanish Revival style of architecture for which Santa Fe is known.
Log beams, adobe and ristras.
When the railroad's mainline bypassed Santa Fe, it lost population, so local leaders took the opportunity to promote the city's heritage by making it a tourist attraction. The city sponsored bold architectural restoration projects and erected new buildings according to traditional techniques and styles. Edgar L. Hewett, founder and first director of the School of American Research and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, was a leading promoter.
Native American artists neatly display their wares at the Palace of Governors, directly across the street from the plaza.
Sculptures are dotted throughout the town.
Santa Fe is all about light and shadow, with ample shaded spaces from which to appreciate its beauty in everyday places.
The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on October 4, 2005, becoming the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. In front stands Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha whose spirit embraces Kindness, Love, Forgiveness, Compassion and Joyful Peace.
Early on a quiet Sunday morning, the empty park bench below beckoned me to sit, rest a while in the plaza, lazily watch the passersby and the increasing procession of.....
....HARLEYS! You haven't been to a Harley Davidson Toys for Tots drive until you've been to the one in Santa Fe!
Even the signage has a southwest flavor to it, and word has it that Santa ditched his sleigh for a Harley.
What one sees walking behind those who are fashion forward...
Art truly lives here in Santa Fe, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the narrow Canyon Drive that winds through a vibrant gallery district dotted with gourmet restaurants and before turning into an adobe filled residential area.
As the sun drops and shadows play on the cathedral facade....
...the moon begins to rise, and all I can say is....
....Thank you for a wonderful day, Santa Fe.
To learn more: New Mexico Museum of Art
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum