From 1927 to 1938 the Villa Philbrook, as it was known, was the family residence of Waite and Genevieve Phillips. The Italian Renaissance style villa as originally built consisted of 72 rooms set on 23 acres of gardens. Phillips donated the mansion to the city of Tulsa for use as an art museum in 1938.
The PMOA opened to the public in 1939. A 70,000 square foot wing was added in 1990 along with a redesign of the garden space ( the new wing also houses a very fine cafe). The museum houses 16,000 works in its permanent collection with a focus on Native American, American and European art.
Historical footnote: Phillips was a member of the Phillips family which founded Phillips Petroleum in 1917. Today the company trades as Phillips 66 and is one of the largest petroleum refiners in the world with revenues of approximately $107b.
Native american and american artists
We enjoyed our visit to the PMOA, and especially appreciated the focus the museum brings to Native American artists. The museum showcases the evolving manner and styles in which Native Americans have been portrayed over the last 150 years – both fascinating and enlightening.
In addition to the finely curated collection, the museum itself is a wonderful piece of architecture. The extravagance and oppulence of a 72 room villa for a family of four is hard to fathom (at least for OTR), but makes for an inspired setting for the art work and artifacts. And of course, the gardens extending down the slope behind the villa are spectacular.
We absolutely recommend an afternoon at the PMOA when you visit Tulsa!
Be seeing you.
P.S. We also recommend having lunch when visiting the PMOA – KITCHEN 27 is excellent.
Roswell is known primarily as the location of an alleged UFO crash that took place in 1947. Strangely, the purported crash site is 75 miles from Roswell – oh well, close enough for tourism purposes. I do not want to put a damper on the UFO tourist trade (and a our little blog won’t) but the UFO was, in fact, a weather balloon!
From our perspective (with all due respect to UFO fans) there is a much better reason to visit Roswell. As we did a quick bit of research on the town we found a website for the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, and decided to visit the museum the morning following our arrrival.
The next morning (after coffee and tea) we set out to walk to the museum just a short distance away. We feared we had made a wrong turn along the way as the only building we could see ahead looked much more like a warehouse than the exterior of a museum. However, upon getting loser to the building there was signage indicating that the building was in fact the home of the AMoCA.
Donald B. Anderson
We were delighted to find ourselves in a bright and colorful space with paintings covering the walls from floor to ceiling. The museum covers 22,000 square feet and is divided into twelve galleries with more than 500 artworks on display.
The photographs of the large scale landscape paintings directly above and below are by Donald B. Anderson, who was a highly successful businessman and artist. He founded the museum in order to bring more art and culture to Roswell and southeastern New Mexico. While a number of his delighful landscapes occupy one of the galleries, the museum is about much more than Mr Anderson.
roswell artists-in-residence (rair)
In addition to the museum itself, Mr Anderson created and funded the Roswell Artists-in-Residency program to bring artists from around the world to work in Roswell. The photograph above and all those below are of artworks by artists that participated in the program since its inception in the late 1960s.
In 2002 the RAIR Foundation assumed full reponsibilty for the management of both the museum and the residency program. RAIR provides a full year residency and includes lodging, studio space and a stipend; over 250 artists have participated in the program since its inception.
AMoCA is a first rate museum with a wide range of work by the artists that have benefited from RAIR. If your travels will be taking you in the vicinity of Roswell or even if you are just passing through we recommend that you visit this gem in the desert.
Nicolai Fechin emigrated, along with his wife and daughter, from Russia to New York City in 1923. He was already a well-established artist when he arrived in the States. Fechin developed tuberculosis while living in New York City, visited Taos in 1926 in search of a healthier environment and moved to Taos in 1927.
Fechin purchased an adobe revival house and, along with several members of the Taos Pueblo, worked on expanding and renovating the property for about six years. The beautiful property pictured in this post is the result of those labors.
The house is now part of the Taos Art Museum, exhibiting paintings by Fechin and other well known southwest artists. The property surrounding the home was sold in order to raise the initial funds to convert the property to a museum. Fortunately, the family created covenants to prohibit the home from being occupied as a private residence.
With the exception of two pieces, all of the furniture in the house was hand carved by Fechin. Additionally, he carved all of the closets and interior doors throughout the house.
As we mentioned earlier in the post Fechin was an established artist when he emigrated to New York City. We have included below a gallery of some of his paintings which are on display throughout the house.
Taos museum of art at fehcin house
The collection at Fechin House also includes a number of paintings by other renowned artists. We have included photgrpahs of several of our favorites below.
We have posted on our visit to Taos (The High Road to Taos and Taos) previously and recommended Taos as worthy of a several day visit. The Taos Museum of Art at Fechin House is an additional reason to visit Taos as part of your New Mexico travel plans.