Museum collections are a source of inspiration, appreciation, and learning. Bringing Together celebrates the ongoing process of building our collection by sharing a portion of the artworks acquired by the New Mexico Museum of Art over the past five years. Either by gift or purchase, every well-chosen object added to our collection broadens its scope and potential impact.
The collection was established prior to the 1917 completion of the museum’s iconic Pueblo Revival building. Portrait of Dieguito Roybal, San Ildefonso Pueblo was given to the museum by the artist, Robert Henri, in anticipation of the completion of what was then known as the Art Galleries of the Museum of New Mexico. Henri, along with museum founder Edgar Lee Hewett, understood the significance of housing and preserving cultural artifacts for study, appreciation, and future generations.
In addition to exhibiting the artworks in our galleries, the museum’s collections are utilized in other ways as well. They are a resource for scholars and researchers and are loaned to other institutions for exhibition. We hold and care for these objects to ensure their preservation for future generations.
Why build a collection?
When accepting artworks into our collection, we keep in mind the immediate relevance as well as the long-term impact of each object. The immediate benefit is that the Museum of Art curators are able to draw materials from our collection for exhibitions, and we are also able to lend works to other institutions for their exhibitions. A more enduring impact is derived from the information we research and collect on the objects and the artists that become a part of our collection.
Every artwork added to the collection goes through a multi-step process of research and presentation that addresses how it enhances our current holdings, how we would use and exhibit it in the future, and how it is relevant to the visual arts overall. The information collected about each artwork grows as we research and exhibit it, and becomes a valuable resource for future researchers and the long-term care and conservation of the objects. As a collecting institution, our role is in service to the community: past, present, and future.