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Building Conservation Associates

Georgia O’Keeffe House and Studio

Location: Abiquiu, New Mexico
Original Architect: Maria Chabot
Year Built: 1744, 1949

The 20th century American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, acquired a 19th c. traditional adobe house in Abiqui, New Mexico in 1945 and transformed it into a “modern” Home and Studio. The Home and Studio that resulted from O’Keeffe’s changes to the building, as well as her 45 years of occupancy, embody her modernist aesthetic. The Museum engaged a multidisciplinary team, including BCA, to determine the condition and preservation risks of the site and structures. The team combined research from historic documents and photographs with scientific analyses, as well as an understanding of the historic and artistic significance of the Home and Studio, to create an overarching Conservation Assessment.

BCA’s focus for the Assessment was the building’s interior and exterior finishes, which included a wide range of materials (paint, limewash, adobe plaster and stucco, linoleum, carpet and tile). BCA performed a collaborative site visit with other team members and visually assessed the condition of each material throughout the Home and Studio, including quasi-exterior spaces that extended the interior into the landscape. For the Conservation Assessment, BCA provided information on the condition of all of the finish materials and identified which were most at risk. Recommendations were also made for long-term monitoring of key risk and performance factors in the site and buildings, as well as strategies for reducing those risks.