The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Museum of Art is one of four state museums in Santa Fe, eight historic sites statewide, and the Office of Archaeological Studies that comprises the Museum of New Mexico System. The Museum of New Mexico Foundation raises funds for Museum of Art exhibitions and educational programs.
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When the New Mexico Museum of Art opened in 1917 it was the first building in the state dedicated to art. Its galleries, reception areas and St. Francis auditorium were made by the people of New Mexico for the promotion of the state’s rich culture to visitors and locals alike The architects Isaac Hamilton and William Morris Rapp designed the building as an enlarged and modified version of the building they made for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. The style of the building, called Pueblo Revival, uses modern construction materials made to look like the historic adobe churches found throughout the state’s Pueblos. Throughout its century long history, the museum has grown and redefined itself to adapt to changes in art and museum practices.
The current name, The New Mexico Museum of Art, was adopted in 2007 to reflect the breadth of New Mexico art. Its previous name, “The Museum of Fine Arts” had been adopted in 1962.
Art is for everyone. The New Mexico Museum of Art fosters a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art throughout the state and beyond. We work with art and artists to explore the human experience, new ideas, and diverse cultures.
Vision: The Impact We Strive to Have
The New Mexico Museum of Art serves as a catalyst and platform for creativity and the enjoyment of art. We empower people to think critically and see a multiplicity of meanings. We bring the art of the world to New Mexico and the art of New Mexico to the world.
- We continue to build and preserve an ambitious collection of significant art works relevant to New Mexico’s communities and in keeping with Santa Fe’s stature as an international art center;
- We strive to present art that represents the full scope of artistic practice, media, and time periods;
- We connect with artists working and living in the region and foster relationships with the broader creative community;
- We foster economic development in New Mexico by working with local artists and craftspeople and by encouraging cultural tourism, which adds significantly to local and statewide revenue;
- We enhance the quality of life through the growth of knowledge and cultural experiences
in New Mexico
- Welcoming – We believe museums are places for inspiration and enjoyment, a social place that serves a broad audience and actively empowers all visitors to engage with art and cultural experiences on their own terms.
- Inclusive – We will honor a multitude of cultures, places, and identities through exhibitions, collections, programming and outreach, representing multiple narratives and appealing to a diverse audience.
- Inspiring – We draw upon our experimental history to foster critical thought and educational opportunities, originality and creativity, and enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts.
- Responsible – We recognize our buildings and collections are important parts of the cultural heritage of the State of New Mexico. Our commitment to caring for the museum collection and historic buildings is in alignment with best practices, to ensure their safe keeping for current and future generations.
- Ambitious – We are committed to increasing our resources and developing innovative and ground-breaking strategies to meet the ambitions of our mission and vision and to provide the highest quality experience possible for our audience.
In recognition of our unique multicultural community, the New Mexico Museum of Art will work to foster diversity, equity, and social knowledge. The Museum of Art will honor a multitude of cultures, places, and identities through exhibitions, collections, programming and outreach, representing multiple narratives and appealing to a diverse audience. We will cultivate a collective dialogue on social issues and intersecting histories. We understand that we must start this process by educating ourselves and will validate our commitments through our actions. We believe art is for everyone.