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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.

Plaza Blanca
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.

Plaza Blanca
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.

Plaza Blanca
Plaza Blanca
Plaza Blanca

Who is your favorite American painter?

Three paws!  Well-behaved dogs are welcome.



Lane & Juliet

The writing and photography team behind Southwest Compass, the travel blog for the American Southwest.



Wow! This looks like an artist’s oasis. My favorite American painter is my mother. :) She’d love it here. Maybe someday we’ll go.
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The Duo

I tried to capture images of the “boulder garden” but couldn’t. It’s right next to the White Place.

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