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"Canyon Road" New Mexico Shopping Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Shopping: 11 reviews and 19 photos


Santa Fe is the second-largest art market in the United States, and has more art galleries than any other city of its size. Canyon Road is at the heart of the Santa Fe art scene, boasting more than 100 art galleries and studios, plus unique specialty shops and world-class restaurants.

The pleasant, tree-lined street, characterized by historic adobe homes, was originally a rural neighborhood of farms situated along an old Indian trail. The earliest adobe homes date from the 1750s, when Spanish farmers settled in the area and tried to raise sheep and crops in the arid countryside. Up until the early twentieth century, Canyon Road continued to be populated by small subsistence farms.

Artists had been drawn to New Mexico since the 1880s for the subject matter supplied by the beautiful desert and mountain landscapes, the native Pueblo cultures, the adobe Spanish villages, and the clarity of the air.

Canyon Road began its transformation from a farming community to an artists' colony in 1915 when renowned artist, Gerald Cassidy, purchased a house on Canyon Road for his art gallery and studio. Other artists soon followed, especially those who specialized in Southwestern landscapes. Eventually, the presence of so many nationally known artists made Canyon Road the most famous artists' colony in the world. In 1962, the city of Santa Fe designated Canyon Road as a "Residential Arts and Crafts Zone."

What to buy: There is a wide range of options visitors have when shopping along Canyon Road. There are artists who specialize in paintings, sculptures, and various types of arts and crafts, including pottery and fine silver-and-turquoise jewelry. Styles of art available include Native American, early twentieth century, traditional representative, contemporary, and abstract, to name but a few.

Theme: Art

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  • Updated Dec 9, 2010
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