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Pointing Southwest Travelers in the Right Direction
The White Place: Land of O’Keeffe
It’s another world located at the end of a teeth-rattling dirt road, a place where shark fin rock formations slice through slot canyons and both rattlesnakes and swallows make their homes. Plaza Blanca (White Place) brought solitude to American painter Georgia O’Keeffe and has become a photographer’s paradise.
O’Keeffe was born in Wisconsin in 1887, and attended the Art Institute of Chicago before heading to New York City where she joined the Art Students League. Here, she was influenced by her mentor, William Merritt Chase, as well as other Impressionists. She sketched in charcoals, which caught the attention of gallery owner and photographer, Alfred Steiglitz, who she later married. Though O’Keeffe had been visiting the Santa Fe area since 1929, she permanently moved to the neighboring Ghost Ranch in 1940.
The White Place is on County Road 155, near Abiquiu – just follow the signs to the Dar Al-Islam temple. Admission is free and the grounds are open, weather permitting. It is remote, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. For more information or a look at O’Keeffe’s White Place paintings.