The Women's Board in October 2013
The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the New Mexico Museum of Art. During this year we will continue our look back at some of the people who have been part of the museum's celebrated history. Today, we look at not a single person, but a group of people who have been instrumental in the museum's success : the Women's Board of the Museum of New Mexico and School of American Research. The Women's Board has served the Museum from the very begining. The purpose of the Women's Board is to contribute to the general public's particpation in and enjoyment of the museum's programs by perpetuating the traditional hospitality of New Mexico. These are the smiling faces you see serving food at opening receptions for major exhibitions and special events.
The predecessors to the Women's Board were the Woman's Board of trade in Santa Fe and the Woman's Auxiliary Committee of the Archaeolgical Society, both of which raised funds for the restoration of the Palace of the Governors and installation of exhibits there. On March 24, 1917 the organization was given its present name.
When the New Mexico Museum of Art was created in 1917, space on the second floor was explicitly reserved for use by the Women's Board. Although the museum currently uses it as exhibition space, it is still refered to as "the Women's Board Room." Over the years the Women's Board has given teas, receptions, dinners and parties in honor of distinguished visitors to Santa Fe. During World War II museum activities were suspended , and the Women's Board Room was turned over to the American Red Cross for war relief work.
The Women's Board Room of the New Mexico Museum of Art, around 1920
Next time you visit the Women's Board Room, be sure to check out the plaque listing the names of the women who served on the Women's Board from 1910 - 2013. In some families, three generations have served the museum through membership on the Women's Board.