What are Santa Fe’s best museums?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

This picturesque city is set at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and remains the oldest capital in the United States. To explore such a rich history, as well as Southwestern culture, visit the best of Santa Fe’s museums.

1. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Brilliant painter Georgia O’Keeffe is synonymous with the New Mexico landscape. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of her artwork, but it also shines a light on the American Modernism movement.

2. The Museum of International Folk Art. With a collection of more than 130,000 pieces, the Museum of International Folk Art has given itself the title of world’s largest folk museum dedicated to the study of traditional cultural art. You’ll find everything from toys to religious art among the offerings.

3. Wheel Wright Museum. This museum was created to preserve Navajo Nation’s art and traditions. While those still remain a priority, the Wheel Wright has expanded its mission to host exhibits of Native American artists from tribes all over North America.

Natalie Wearstler

Museum hopping should definitely be on your list of things to do in Santa Fe. Whether you're a history buff or a self-proclaimed art historian, you'll want to spend a day perusing the options in downtown Santa Fe.

The Georgia O'Keeffee Museum is an excellent starting point. In addition to the large collection of O'Keeffe's paintings of cityscapes, flowers and other natural forms, the museum regularly hosts exhibits by other notable aritsts — masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Arthur Dove have all been featured in the past.

Explore the grandeur of Santa Fe in a new light at The New Mexico Museum of Art. As the name would suggest, the museum highlights the work of New Mexico-based artists, as well as works that are inspired by the Land of Enchantment and the greater Southwest region of the United States. The outdoor sculpture garden is a serene place for a quiet stroll or a thoughtful conversation.

The Loretto Chapel is a can't-miss stop, no matter your degree of spirituality. The stunning Gothic Revival-style chapel was completed in 1878, and its architectural details are a wonder to behold — you could spend an entire day marveling at the stained glass windows, which were purchased from the DuBois Studio in Paris in 1876. Legend has it that the "Miraculous Staircase" in the chapel was built with no nails and has no visible means of support; some even believe that is the handiwork of St. Joseph the Carpenter.

Related Questions