Art Excursions, Inc.



Perfect timing: October in Santa Fe

Art Excursions has developed a tour of Santa Fe in recognition of its importance in the history of American art. Situated between the surrounding Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges, Santa Fe's stark and dramatic scenery and its striking Southwestern light have made it a magnet for artists and photographers over more than a century. We have crafted a tour that includes important museums, special exhibits, great food and examples of local architecture both in Santa Fe and in Taos.

Santa Fe is the oldest historic capital in the United States and the country's second oldest city. By 1610, it was established as the capital of the Spanish "Kingdom of New Mexico" and officially named "La Villa Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis" (the Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi).

October is a beautiful time to tour this historic region. The smell of pinon pine will greet you in the cool mornings. You will want to dress in layers as the climate will warm up as the day goes on.  You’ll likely see towering Cottonwoods in full golden bloom (see photo atop from a recent tour).

A private guided walking tour of the Santa Fe Historic Plaza and Old Town

Orient yourself to the historic capital's Old Town on a private walking tour led by an expert local guide.

In a discussion of Santa Fe culture, history and architecture, our guide will highlight the Historic Plaza and structures such as Loretto Chapel, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, and the Palace of the Governors (pictured).

Built by the Spanish as a government building in 1610, the Palace of the Governors remains the nation's oldest continuously occupied public building.

American Indian artists sell their wares under its historic portal as part of the Native American Vendors Program.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O'Keeffe was only one of thousands of painters, sculptors, photographers, poets, writers and composers drawn to Santa Fe. But she is likely the most famous artist associated with the region. Still misunderstood and misinterpreted even in the 21st century, O'Keeffe's work was crucial to the history of modernism in American painting. Fans of O'Keeffe consider a visit to Santa Fe a pilgrimage of sorts. But after seeing her work within the context of the Southwest, nearly everyone can expect to come away with a new perspective on the incredible array of subjects she painted, drew and sculpted over her long career.

This museum houses a full range of O'Keeffe's art (1,150 works) from her daring and innovative non-objective paintings of the 1910s and 1920s to her elegant investigations of various subject matter, such as architecture, landscapes, flowers, rocks and bones. Many of the works in the collection were formerly in the artist's personal collection of her own work amassed either by deliberately withholding works from sale or by purchasing back from collectors certain works she found essential to various periods within her long career.

The New Mexico Museum of Art

Opened in 1917 in an adobe-revival building, The New Mexico Museum of Art (formerly the Museum of Fine Arts) displays an extensive permanent collection of contemporary and traditional American art including Santa Fe and Taos artists from the 19th century to the present.

Art historian and tour leader Jeff Mishur will provide a guided tour of highlights of the museum’s permanent collection.

The museum plans to feature a number of special exhibitions during our visit including:

Social and Sublime: Land, Place and Art - This exhibit considers how a variety of American artists have used land and place in their work in dialogue with the social, aesthetic, political, and cultural viewpoints that have shaped our understanding of land.

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist - A believer in numerology, astrology, and faith healing, Agnes Pelton’s abstract compositions propelled her into an esoteric world epitomized by the Transcendental Painting Group based in Albuquerque.

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The Pueblo is made entirely of adobe (earth mixed with water and straw then either poured into forms or made into sun-dried bricks). The Pueblo's multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. Approximately 150 people live within the Pueblo full time. Other families owning homes in the North or South buildings live in summer homes near their fields, and in more modern homes outside the old walls but still within Pueblo land. We have arranged for our group a private guided tour of The Pueblo provided by a resident Taos Indian.

After our tour you will have free time to explore The Pueblo on your own. For those interested in Taos Indian traditional handmade arts and crafts, there are shops located within The Pueblo that sell paintings, sculptures, mica-flecked pottery, silver jewelry, moccasins, boots and drums.

Museum Hill and The Museum of International Folk Art

Santa Fe's Museum Hill is a campus environment featuring four separate museum venues. We have arranged a private guided tour of one of these museums, The Museum of International Folk Art. If you wish, you will have time to explore the other museum collections on your own on the day of our visit. The four Museum Hill venues are:

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture - Encounter Native cultures and artifacts of the Southwest from ancestral to contemporary, in exhibits drawing from more than 70,000 works of art and material culture. The outstanding collection showcases classic and contemporary Southwestern Indian paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, basketry and weaving. A permanent exhibition tracing the life of American Indians, "Here Now and Always" was curated in part by Native American elders, scholars and tribal members. We will be touring this museum as a group.

The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art - This is the newest museum on the Santa Fe scene and features objects from throughout the Spanish Colonial world, housed in a 1930 pueblo-revival building designed by John Gaw Meem.

The Museum of International Folk Art - Housing the largest collection of international folk art in the world including toys, textiles, household goods and religious art, this museum features long-term and changing exhibitions with both a gift shop and book store.

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian - New Mexico's oldest private non-profit museum emphasizes important Native American art in an eight-sided building inspired by a traditional Navajo hooghan.

Saint Francis Church in Rancho de Taos

Along the stunning road to Taos, we will drive along The Rio Grande and make stops at the bridge at The Rio Grande Gorge and  at the 1815 Saint Francis of Assisi Church in the village of Rancho de Taos. This is possibly the most painted, drawn and photographed church in the United States.

Ansel Adams helps us understand the appeal of this structure in his book Examples: The Making of Forty Photographs: "It is the rear elevation that defines this building as one of the great architectural monuments of America. It had been interpreted by numerous painters and photographers, and I could not resist the challenge. The building is not really large, but it appears immense. The forms are fully functional, the massive rear buttress and the secondary buttress to the left are organically related to the basic masses of adobe, and all together seem an outcropping of the earth rather than merely an object constructed on it." Pictured: Saint Francis Church, Rancho de Taos, New Mexico by Ansel Adams, c. 1929.

Optional excursion: Tour the Georgia O'Keeffe Home and Studio in Abiquiu, New Mexico

In 1945, Georgia O'Keeffe purchased a 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era compound in ruins. Upon the conclusion of a four-year restoration project, she left New York and made New Mexico her permanent home. O'Keeffe spent the majority of her New Mexico years at this Abiquiu house (her primary residence) or at her house on Ghost Ranch (not open to the public).

O'Keeffe's home and studio in Abiquiu is today one of the most important artistic sites in the southwestern United States. A tour of the home and studio, their immediate surroundings, and the views they command of the magnificent landscape that inspired many of O'Keeffe's best-known paintings all combine to provide insight into the vision and process of a major figure in 20th century American art.

This four hour optional excursion includes transportation along the beautiful terrain between Santa Fe and Abiquiu (an area known for its colorful rock formations and other scenic features); a delicious lunch; a guided tour of O'Keeffe's Home and Studio; and pre-tour commentary by art historian and tour leader Jeff Mishur.

The cost for this optional excursion is $275. We will need a minimum of 8 people participating in order to provide the excursion. If you wish to sign up for it, please note your request on the tour application (see link for tour application pdf below). The excursion will take place in the morning on October 23.  No additional hotel night will be required. Pictured: a photo of Abiquiu region by Art Excursions.

Accommodations in Old Town Santa Fe

Art Excursions understands that our choice of accommodations contributes to the overall experience of the boutique tours we design and lead. Consequently, our clients have come to expect a high standard of hotel as well as a location that is ideal for walking to shops, galleries, museums, restaurants, theaters and concert venues.

In Santa Fe, we have selected a four star property featuring spacious rooms, a fine restaurant and a location just a block off the famous Santa Fe Historic Plaza. Our hotel is ranked in the top tier of Santa Fe’s accommodations by Tripadvisor and other travel websites and publications.

As it has been for nearly four centuries, the plaza is today a vital center of commerce, culture, festivals and history. Within an easy stroll you'll find the city's unique collection of winding streets; nearly 100 different galleries displaying works in diverse media; extraordinary restaurants unique in flavor and ambience; and musical venues that feature classical, Spanish guitar, flamenco, blues, jazz, and more.

Tour study leader and host -- art historian Jeff Mishur

Art historian Jeff Mishur, co-owner of Art Excursions, hosts this tour. Jeff is a sought-after guide for private tours of architecture, public sculpture and museum collections. He is also a very popular lecturer on art and architecture. Art Excursions is pleased to offer as part of this small group tour itinerary Jeff’s guided tour of highlights of The New Mexico Museum of Art and his commentary on the work of Georgia O’Keeffe.


  1. 4 nights of four star accommodations in Old Town Santa Fe

  2. Admissions and tours as highlighted above and detailed in the itinerary

  3. A private tour of highlights at The New Mexico Museum of Art provided by art historian and tour host Jeff Mishur

  4. Commentaries on Georgia O'Keeffe provided by art historian and tour host Jeff Mishur

  5. A welcome dinner

  6. Two lunches (three with the optional excursion to Abiquiu)

  7. Vouchers for daily breakfast in the hotel restaurant

  8. Independent time to take in what you like at each event on the itinerary

  9. Opportunity to add on nights at a special rate

  10. Transportation to/from Taos Pueblo, to/from Museum Hill, and (for the optional excursion) to/from Abiquiu

  11. Driver gratuities

  12. Tour design, planning, hosting, commentaries and handouts provided by Art Excursions


Gratuities for tour guides and hotel staff; incidentals at hotel; costs for items not specified above; Airfare and airport transfers. We can book airfare on your behalf if you prefer not to make your own arrangements.  We do charge a $45 per ticket booking fee for this service.


$2,045 per person in a room with 1 bed (based on double occupancy)

$2,075 per person in a room with 2 separate beds (based on double occupancy)

$375 single supplement


We know some clients have a tendency to look into airfares before even signing up for our tours. We wish to offer a reminder that airfares fluctuate daily. The old theory that the earlier one books a flight, the lower fare they will pay does not apply in our era. Fare prices are driven by sale periods that are announced periodically by a given carrier and then matched by other carriers.

Please also keep in mind for this particular tour, most clients (but not all) will find lower fares and more options when flying into Albuquerque than into Santa Fe. Our official tour confirmation letter will outline the options for transfers between ABQ airport and Santa Fe.


Our boutique tours are ideal for single travelers, singles traveling together, or couples. We typically have a mix of these types of travelers. If you wish to know why we charge a single supplement or have any other questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email us.


Group size is limited. Reservations accepted first-come, first-served. For more details please email artexcursions@yahoo.com or call 630/671-9745.


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Santa Fe Art, Architecture and Culture Tour - October 21-25, 2019

Featuring an optional excursion to the Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio

P.O. Box 92, Riverside, IL 60546 • 630.671.9745 • artexcursions@yahoo.comwww.artexcursions.com

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