Legendary artist Georgia O’Keeffe spent decades painting the rugged landscapes of New Mexico in a creative love-affair that would last until her death in 1986 at the age of 98. Now, her final Santa Fe home, Sol Y Sombra, is for sale, priced at $15m.
The 1930s Spanish pueblo-revival style dwelling is three miles outside Santa Fe on a 20-acre estate along the old Santa Fe Trail (a 19th-century trade route that ran to Franklin, Missouri). O’Keeffe bought the home in the 1980s and lived there until her death, after which it was snapped up by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Allen himself died in 2018, and since then, his estate has been selling off his holdings and art collection, with the proceeds distributed to charity.
Sol y Sombra, or Sun and Shadow, as the home is known, dates from the 1930s and has a cheerful terracotta-coloured exterior punctuated by bright blue windows. It has plenty of classic pueblo features, such as post-and-beam ceilings, brick floors, and smooth curvilinear adobe walls. Most of the hardware is original, as are floors, doors and bedroom fireplaces.
However, it hasn’t been preserved in quite the same way O’Keeffe Taos home studio in Abiquiú (now part of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum), having been modernised, expanded and retrofitted under Allen’s custodianship.
The old carriage house was converted into a theatre and guesthouse in 2015, and O’Keeffe’s artist studio is now an event centre with break-out rooms and offices. The Lodge performance space seats 80 guests and has a sunroom, roof deck, sauna and catering-scale kitchen, and there are several guest cottages and subsidiary buildings on the Santa Fe property.
It’s said that O’Keeffe’s affection for the outdoors drove her to buy the sprawling estate. The gardens are varied and impressive, with many shaded areas for sitting and entertaining and a cactus garden and native fauna.
A massive steel and glass greenhouse also houses a unique bodhi tree – which according to Art News, was grown from a seed gifted to Allen by the Dalai Lama. The seed was said to be from the Bodhi tree, under which Buddha achieved enlightenment.
Paul Duran of Keller Williams Luxury Santa Fe holds the listing for the New Mexico property.