“We are very excited about this opportunity,” says Robert A. Kret, Director of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. “Not only will this further our mission to preserve and advance Georgia O’Keeffe’s artistic legacy, the center will create a more dynamic experience for the visitor in this culturally rich area.”
Currently, the Museum maintains its northern presence with Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú Home and Studio, a National Historic Landmark. Last year, approximately 11,000 people visited the iconic house, and 2017 is on target to surpass this figure.
Ownership of the Home and Studio was transferred from the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in 2006. Since that time, the Museum had always hoped to broaden its reach and impact with an expanded visitor center. With the benefit of ongoing community dialogue, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and Noble Hospitality, Inc., the owner of Abiquiú Inn, developed a partnership to realize this vision.
“Abiquiú Inn has a long history of providing hospitality in northern New Mexico, particularly to visitors of the Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio,” says Colin Noble, President and CEO of Noble Hospitality, Inc. “We look forward to enhancing the guests’ experience with the arrival of the visitor center. This new, exciting place will provide generations to come an opportunity to further connect with O’Keeffe, and her love for Abiquiú and the surrounding communities.”
The educational site will be an anchor for tourism along the US Route 84 corridor in Rio Arriba County, positively affecting the area. The visitor center will boost economic growth, strengthen local partnerships, and create jobs. With this new opportunity, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum will provide approximately 28 positions at its Abiquiú destinations.
“This is a great development that will bring many economic gains,” says David Archuleta, President of the Abiquiú Land Grant Board. “The site will give strength and support to this region.”
The visitor center will measure around 4,700 square feet. Construction is underway, with an anticipated opening in spring 2018.