About Ranchos de Taos Church
and Ghost Ranch
The Ranchos de Taos Church is an old adobe Spanish Mission church a few miles south from central Taos, New Mexico, and is one of the most painted buildings in the world. While the front is a beautiful example of Spanish Mission architecture, it is the back of the church that is the subject of so many paintings. Void of doors and windows, the leaning and curved lines of the adobe walls provide a simple form of freeform shape against a big sky background. The image changes dramatically throughout the day and season. O’Keeffe paints the church twice on her first trip in 1929 and again the next year.
Formally called the The Saint Francis of Assisi Church at Rancho de Taos, the church is made of sun dried mud bricks with a layer of mud stucco. While this style of building is durable in sunshine, during the rainy season it suffers significantly. The annual mudding requires an army of volunteers who apply a new outer layer to the entire church. This gives a secondary theme to the painting: a religion that is constantly being built - a church as a living architecture dependent on members to continually maintain the physical, community and spiritual structure.
Articles About Georgia O'Keeffe
Being Inspired By Georgia O'Keeffe
How Georgia O'Keeffe influences my painting through her work and philosophy.
Off-Site Links for Ranchos de Taos Church and Georgia O'Keeffe
To see Ranchos Church, Taos by Georgia O’Keeffe, click here.
To read about the annual "mudding" of the Church at Rancho de Taos, click here.
For Georgia O'Keeffe on the Internet, click here.