The New Mexico Museum of Art (the oldest art museum in New Mexico) opened its doors in 1917. It is believed to be the first contemporary art museum in the United States. Designed by architects Rapp and Rapp, the building personifies the graceful simplicity of the Pueblo Revival style. The architects’ creative vision came from the 300-year-old mission churches at Acoma and other pueblos, and from this, the museum design defined this style of architecture for which Santa Fe is known.
The landmark building balances contemporary art with genuine tradition and is a true inspiration for the culture of Santa Fe.
New Mexico Museum of Art Collections
The museum’s collection is mainly 20th and 21st century American, Southwest art with an emphasis on works made by artists who have worked, lived or been influenced by travel through the region since the introduction of the railway, around the time of 1880. The museum also has an international, comprehensive photography collection and works by major artists of other periods, styles and locales. Many of the works that were exhibited at the opening in 1917 remain in the collection today.
Here’s what the New Mexico Museum of Art says about its collections:
“The museum has more than 20,000 works of American and European art in its collection, including paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, photographs, new media, and conceptual works. Its collection focuses on American art with an emphasis on artists working in the Southwest, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Weston, Laura Gilpin, Agnes Martin, Luis Jimenez, Luis Tapia, Bruce Nauman, Meridel Rubenstein, and Ana Mendieta among others.”
The New Mexico Museum of Art is located at 107 West Palace Avenue, one block off the historic Santa Fe Plaza. Daily hours are from 10-5 pm, Fridays 10-8 pm, and closed on Mondays, September through May.
Take a Sunday afternoon stroll around the Plaza, experience the arts and the architecture, and soothe your artistic soul. You will definitely be inspired, and who knows, the next great painting may come out of you!
The Governor’s Gallery – New Mexico State Capitol
The ‘Governor’s Gallery’ is an “outreach location” of the New Mexico Museum of Art that brings exhibitions to the fourth floor of the New Mexico State Capitol. The Governor’s Gallery features six exhibitions a year featuring work by prominent living New Mexico artists. Click here for more information on the Governor’s Gallery.
New Mexico Museum of Art Video
Enjoy this unique, fun, and informative video of one person’s travels to the New Mexico Museum of Art: