Georgia O’Keefe Museum

Known as the Mother of American Modernism, O’Keeffe’s artistic representations of New Mexico’s dramatic landscapes evoke a strong sense of place, identity, and character that is deeply felt by locals and visitors alike. The protection of these sites is of critical cultural and historic importance on a local, state, and national scale. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is developing a database connecting O’Keeffe’s paintings to the iconic locations they portrayed and to the specific viewsheds that the paintings encompass.

In the past several years, the State of New Mexico has seen a sharp increase in petroleum and natural gas exploration and other forms of development that threaten many iconic sites depicted in O’Keeffe’s work. The Museum seeks to connect O’Keeffe’s artworks with their geographies in hopes of protecting New Mexico’s landscapes  and cultivating greater  appreciation for  their influence on art, history, and culture.

To support the Museum, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) GIS team conducted a viewshed analysis of 29 O’Keeffe paintings and integrated the data into a GIS database, landscape viewer, and decision-support tool.  This project aims to build models that can be extended to all of O’Keeffe’s works as well as to other artists. It also aims to develop protocols for sharing the viewshed information in an easy and meaningful way to support collaboration with developers, energy companies and government entities that manage land use and permit development.

For more information, contact:

Kristen Weil, GIS Project Manager, The Trust for Public Land