New Mexico Museum of Art
Vladem Contemporary

When New Mexico Museum of Art was founded in 1917, it aspired to be a destination for contemporary art in the American Southwest. In 2014, as the museum approached its centennial, it reexamined its founding vision with an expansion to the Santa Fe Railyard District: Vladem Contemporary.

Robert and Ellen Vladem made the lead gift of $4 million in 2017 in a public-private campaign that resulted in $20.2 million partnership. The architectural team DNCA + StudioGP led by Devendra Contractor, Deirdre Harris, and Graham Hogan was commissioned to create an innovative structure that adapted an existing building as a showplace for the art of our time. In 1936, the Charles Ilfeld Company commissioned the building from contractor William Cooper as its Santa Fe warehouse and, after closing its operations there in 1959, sold the building to the state in 1960 as the new home of the State Records Center and Archives, under Director of Records Joseph F. Halpin. DNCA + StudioGP adapted the warehouse to serve as a museum space and added a second floor in the bridge-like form that spans the original structure.

This adaptive reuse of the building allows the New Mexico Museum of Art to increase its commitment to contemporary art and education programming through the addition of 9,969 square feet of exhibition space, 2,307 square feet of programmatic space in the Van Mabee Education Center, and 4,100 square feet to collections storage.

Visiting Vladem Contemporary

The museum is located at 404 Montezuma Ave, and parking may be found at the Railyard Municipal Garage at 503 Camino de la Familia or at the State Capitol Parking Facility at 485 Galisteo St., which is open Monday – Friday 6:00am to 9:00pm. Parking at Tomasita’s is never permitted.

The Rail Runner Express is located to the west right behind the Vladem Contemporary and provides easy access to the museum.

The Santa Fe Trails transit system has a stop in front of the Vladem Contemporary on S. Guadalupe St.

Hours: May - October

Saturday - Thursday 10 AM - 5 PM
Friday 10 AM - 7 PM

Hours: November - April

Monday Closed
Tuesday - Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM
*Final Friday of the month 5 PM - 7 PM

Educational Programs

Among the main motivating factors in creating a new contemporary art venue was the need for dedicated educational spaces, which our 100-year-old facility on the Plaza lacks. The Vladem Contemporary will have a large dedicated educational space where artmaking, classes, hands-on activities, and even performance-based arts can take place. The Museum of Art currently has no such space. The venue will also have an artist’s studio space which will enable artist-in-residence programs to include educational access for students to artists and their working practice.

For the inaugural year, the Education team has been developing new programing, including enhanced school tours that will allow students to participate in an activity related to the exhibitions during their visit; monthly family art-making sessions; summer photography workshops for teens, and expanded opportunities for studio workshops. 

Having dedicated education spaces will enable us to provide new experiences that invite visitor creativity, developing a connection between the visual experience of art in the galleries to the visceral experience of creating. It will improve school group visits by allowing students and educators to dive deeper into the themes of our exhibitions. Learning by doing is not just for kids. Our current plan provides programming for all ages and skill levels, and our intention is to build on these offerings in the years to come.