New Museum Project
Planning is underway to reimagine the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum campus in downtown Santa Fe to achieve three powerful goals: a new and innovative museum worthy of the finest art, civic revitalization, and a deepened commitment to Northern New Mexico. The new O’Keeffe will make a transformative and positive impact on her legacy and place in the story of American art long into the future.
Throughout the project we will continue to share information about the building design, important milestones, renderings, site plans, and updates on this page.
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What: A 54,000 square foot building on a one-acre lot (32,000 square feet at street level and 22,000 square feet below ground for collections care) and almost an acre of community green space.
Where: 100 block of Grant Avenue, in the historic Santa Fe Plaza District. The site is currently occupied by the Museum’s Education Annex and related properties.
When: Community engagement is happening now. Construction is set to begin in 2024 and the new O’Keeffe will open in 2026.
We are centering New Mexico—the peoples and cultures, rich history, and landscape—in how we present our stories, and rededicating ourselves to serving the needs of local audiences.
All renderings are suggestive and not final. The design is still flexible to incorporate community feedback and needs.
What is the need for the new Museum?
Since opening in 1997, The O’Keeffe has outgrown its facilities and cannot adequately store and care for the collection, handle the volume of visitors, or expand educational offerings to support the youth and families of Santa Fe and northern New Mexico with its current limited facilities.
With a reimagined campus, the new O’Keeffe will:
- Present more of the collection in its galleries, matching the caliber of recent national and international exhibitions, which drew significant attention to the O’Keeffe in Santa Fe
- Showcase diverse artists and voices with changing, special exhibition galleries
- Increase the capacity for programming, engagement, and educational initiatives
- Respond to the needs of a growing collection, providing state of the art collections care and storage
- Invite local residents and visitors alike to enjoy a community green space
- Integrate its facilities on Grant Avenue, including administrative offices and the historic Otero-Bergere house containing its Research Center, Library and Archives
What will the new O’Keeffe campus include?
Campus highlights include:
- New 54,000 square foot building on a one-acre lot (32,000 square feet at street level and 22,000 square feet below ground for collections care)
- Combined 18,000 square feet of gallery space (13,000 square feet in new building and 5,000 square feet preserved in original museum building)
- Learning & Engagement Center with classrooms and lecture space
- Community green space open to the public, opening pedestrian routes between Sheridan and Grant Avenues
- State-of-the-art conservation lab, collections storage space, and photography studio for collection documentation
- Walkway to the Research Center, Library and Archives, seamlessly integrating the sites on Grant Avenue
- On-campus bus drop-off lane, eliminating street crossing for visiting students
- Loading dock for careful handling of artwork without disrupting traffic
- Expansive lobby for public events and gatherings
What will happen to the current O’Keeffe Museum?
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum will remain at its current location at 217 Johnson Street during construction of the new Museum on Grant Avenue. Board Members and staff are exploring options to keep the building as a future part of the new O’Keeffe campus for additional Museum exhibition programming and special events. There are no plans to sell the current building.
Why is the O’Keeffe building in downtown Santa Fe?
The downtown properties, which include the current Museum building, the Research Center, and the planned location for the new building (currently the museum’s Education Annex), were purchased for the museum in the late 1990s with the intention of supporting future growth. Planning to rebuild on current property helps the Museum best utilize its current resources.
Who is designing and building the new O’Keeffe?
The O’Keeffe has partnered with local and national firms to begin the design process. Our design and consultant team includes:
- Building architecture by DNCA Architects
- Community green space designed by Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects
- Construction by Bradbury Stamm Construction
- Exhibition theme development by Thinc Design
- Original schematic design by Gluckman Tang Architects
What is the total cost of the new campus project and how is it funded?
Project cost estimates $75 million, with 80% of funding committed from generous individuals and institutions. Support includes a $750,000 matching challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, the largest private national grant-making program to address climate change through cultural institutions. The O’Keeffe is a private institution, there has been no state or city funding for the building project to date.
Is this project subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act?
Yes, because this project is receiving federal assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities and involves construction and historic properties, it is subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (54 U.S.C. §306108).
Section 106 requires federal agencies to consider the impact of their projects on historic properties. As part of the Section 106 process NEH and the O’Keeffe are engaging and seeking input from consulting parties and the public in the process of identifying historic properties, assessing the project’s potential effects on those properties, and working to avoid, minimize or mitigate them. Additional information on the Section 106 process is available on NEH’s website.
The Section 106 process has been integrated into our public meetings and listening sessions.
NEH and GOKM are working with the following consulting parties: Pueblo of Tesuque, The Hopi Tribe, Historic Santa Fe Foundation, Old Santa Fe Association, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, El Rancho de Las Golondrinas, Falling Colors, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, City of Santa Fe Historic Preservation Division, and the NM Economic Development Department.
How can I get involved/learn more?
The Museum is dedicated to hearing from the community to sharpen its plans and create something we can all be proud of.
- Stay informed: Sign up for email updates about the new Museum, be among the first to know about major news and updates.
- Support the project: Make a gift online and be part of this historic campaign. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and additional ways to give.
- Send us your thoughts: Email email@example.com or call 505-946-1050.
- Click here to learn about upcoming meetings or watch past recordings.