Located in the southwestern part of the United States, New Mexico is the fifth largest state in terms of area but only the 36th largest in terms of population. This makes New Mexico one of the most sparsely populated states of all, ranking 45th in terms of population density. New Mexico is part of the 'Four Corners' region and has borders with the following states: Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Texas, as well as two Mexican states to the south. New Mexico has a rich history, having been inhabited by Native Americans for many millennia before European settlers arrived. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
3.New Mexico Cities: Las Cruces
4.Cities in New Mexico: Rio Rancho
5.Cities in New Mexico: Santa Fe
6.Cities in New Mexico: Roswell
5 of the Largest Cities in New Mexico
- Overview, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Albuquerque, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- New Mexico Cities: Las Cruces, Photo: daniel/stock.adobe.com
- Cities in New Mexico: Rio Rancho, Photo: Scott/stock.adobe.com
- Cities in New Mexico: Santa Fe, Photo: Edward/stock.adobe.com
- Cities in New Mexico: Roswell, Photo: gnagel/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of ipivorje - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: New Mexico Museum of Art
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art works to foster experiences that lead to a deeper enjoyment of art. The museum not only works to bring art from around the globe to Santa Fe, but it also takes New Mexican art to the world.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the New Mexico Museum of Art delivers its mission to thousands of visitors every year, working with art and artists to explore new ideas, diverse cultures, and the human experience. From the building it's housed in, a work of art in and of itself, to its library of over 20,000 works in the permanent collection, to the changing and evolving temporary exhibitions, the Museum creates an enriching and invigorating art experience for its visitors.
Founded in 1909 by archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewitt, Museum of New Mexico, as it was then known, took the form of art shows in the historic Palace of the Governors. Realizing that a separate gallery would be needed, the current building was constructed in 1917, reflecting the historic style of centuries old pueblos. Early on, the Art Gallery encouraged local artists to exhibit their works at a time when there were no local art galleries in the city center.
This support of local art and artists continues to this day, in the form of the Museum's vision to bring the art of New Mexico to the world. Soon, artists from other parts of the country came to New Mexico to work and display their art in the gallery, resulting in a broad range of pieces in the collection. Throughout the years, the Museum continued to evolve, changing its name from the Museum of Fine Arts, as it was known from the 1960s onward, to the current New Mexico Museum of Art, reflecting the vision and focus on the art of New Mexico.
The structure housing the collection is as much a part of museum as any painting or sculpture. Constructed in 1917, the style was inspired by the 300 year old Mission de Acona and other historic pueblos. The architects, Rapp and Rapp, modeled the design after the success of the Panama-California Exhibition in San Diego in 1915. The structure was designed to define the style of Santa Fe, which incorporated Hispanic style and traditional pueblo architecture of the area.
The structure was built from 750,000 bricks made by inmates at the state penitentiary. The original purpose of the Museum was to help to drive tourism to the Santa Fe Area, with the architecture of the structure designed to further that purpose. The Museum building was first approved in 1912, shortly after New Mexico received statehood, and was set out with the purpose to distinguish the style of the city and state from the rest of Middle America at the time.
The permanent collection at the New Mexico Museum of Art houses more than 20,000 works. The bulk of the works represent art from the Southwest, and many are available for viewing online via the Institution's online searchable art museum. Not all works are on display at all times, but visitors can reach out to the Museum to view any specific work or items in the archives.
Works in the permanent collection feature highlights from Georgia O'Keeffe, Gustave Baumann and Lucy Lippard. Other works in the collection include items from the Santa Fe art colonies of the past hundred years. In addition, two sculpture gardens are also available for visitors' enjoyment.
The temporary exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art are a highlight of the institution. Themes and displays change periodically and vary wildly in their content. From Shakespeare's First Folio to Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony and Reflections: Images of Apollo, there is always something new on offer at the Museum. Typically featured in the annual rotation are works from the Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts, typically showcased in the latter half of the year.
In addition to these temporary exhibitions on display in the gallery, the Museum also provides online exhibitions. These include selections from the Museum's archives and permanent collections, the annual Friends of Contemporary Art show, Art on the Edge, and other topics such as Pulling Strings: The Art and Marionettes of Gustave Baumann. These online exhibitions make New Mexico's art and artists available to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.
In addition to the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions available for viewing, special events and programs make the experience at the Museum even more enriching for visitors. Such ongoing events include daily docent tours or Drop in and Draw, a special time during the summer for artists to bring their materials and be inspired by the works in the galleries.
Other events include drawing lessons in the Summer Salon, or musical events that often include dancing. Family fun days or the ice cream social at the Museum enhance the experience for the whole family. Annual events are also on offer, such as the Governor's Awards Honoree's Exhibition or the Annual Holiday Open House. Visitors are encouraged to check the Museum's website for calendar information on these interesting and inspirational events.
In delivering their mission to cultivate a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art, the Museum also engages in educational activities. These include special exhibitions such as New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History, to docent led tours that increase appreciation and education. Other resources available through the Museum's website include videos and web chats featuring discussions of the works or commentary from the artists themselves. The Museum's Blog also offers a wealth of information to provide insight into the pieces and delve deeper into their meaning, interpretation and origins.
Easily accessible from public transit or by car, the Museum is just a few blocks from several parking lots and garages. Hours and exhibitions change throughout the year; as such, visitors are advised to check the Museum's website prior to visiting. Ticket prices, group information, and discounts are also listed on the site, as well as any information on closures resulting from extreme weather conditions.
There is no café within the Museum, however its downtown location is very close to several dining options within short walking distance. A Museum Shop is available, featuring posters, jewelry, handbags, scarves and other artistic items to take home. With vibrant collections, remarkable architecture and ever changing exhibitions, the New Mexico Museum of Art is a work of art itself.
107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501, Phone: 505-476-5072
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Attraction Spotlight: Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is one of four museums that make up the New Mexico Museum systems that are dedicated to presenting and preserving the art and culture of the southwestern Native American people. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Museum features collections of Native art and cultural materials and objects that tell the story of the of the unique cultures of the Southwest and their fascinating indigenous traditions. The Museum does this through engaging and interpretive exhibitions of the arts, cultures, and histories of the American Southwest exhibitions, public lectures and symposiums, artist residencies, field trips, and other educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Founded as the Museum of New Mexico in 1909 by anthropologist Edgar Lee Hewett with the aim of showcasing Southwestern Native American culture through an array of artifacts and objects, the institution merged with the Laboratory of Anthropology in 1947, which was founded by John D. Rockefeller to become the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology. The Museum moved to a 31,000-square-foot exhibition facility in 1987 due to its fast-growing collections and the following years saw significant extensions such as the Amy Rose Bloch Wing and the long-term exhibition ‘Here, Now & Always.’
Collections / Exhibits
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture features a variety of collections of over 10 million objects, which are divided into individually cataloged collections, including Southwestern artifacts, baskets, pottery, jewelry, contemporary art, and textiles.
An evolving schedule of temporary and traveling exhibitions are inspired by the Museum’s collections, as well as long-term exhibits such as the Buchsbaum Gallery of Southwestern Pottery, which houses almost 300 ceramic pieces created by artists from the pueblos of Arizona and New Mexico, and showcase the story of pottery-making from inception to the present day. Another long-term exhibition, ‘Here, Now & Always,’ documents the Southwest’s indigenous communities and the challenging landscapes in which they have to reside. The display features over 1,300 objects from the Museum’s collection accompanied by stories, songs, scholarly discussions, and poetry.
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture offers a range of educational programs for visitors of all ages, most of which are free of charge with regular museum admission. These include docent-led solo and group tours of the Museum, programs for schools and organizations, outreach presentations, lecture series, major festivals, and special events. Adult programs range from short courses in Southwestern archaeology and Native American Art, lecture series, and hands-on workshops, while programs for schools and groups include themed tours with related hands-on activities for the classroom or in a gallery. Docent-led tours of the Museum are offered daily for visitors to the museum and organized groups by advance arrangement.
The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is located at 710-708 Camino Lejo on Museum Hill, just off the Old Santa Fe Trail and is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Monday through Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, during the summer (May - October). Museum members admitted free and complimentary docent-led tours of the Museum are offered daily.
The Colleen Cloney Duncan Museum Shop is open during Museum hours and sells a variety of artwork sculptures, ceramics, handcrafted jewelry, art glass, handmade pottery, weaving arts, metal art, and Native American artwork by New Mexico artists. The Museum Hill Café is open for lunch and afternoon tea, along with museum and art openings, monthly jazz nights, happy hour and wine dinners, and music events, year-round.
The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the historic Meem Auditorium in the Laboratory of Anthropology can be rented for special celebrations and occasions, providing a stunning venue with breathtaking views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Museum offers both intimate settings for small function and a spacious ballroom or the Meem Auditorium for more significant events.
710 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, Phone: 505-476-1269
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Attraction Spotlight: Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe is an independent museum that is dedicated to showcasing historic and contemporary Native American art. Founded in 1937, the Museum is New Mexico’s oldest independent museum and best known for little-known genres and solo shows by living Native American artists.
The Museum is world renowned for being home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of Navajo and Pueblo jewelry in the world, which is housed in the Jim and Lauris Phillips Center for the Study of Southwestern Jewelry. The Museum also features the Case Trading Post shop, which was established in 1975 and is one of the region’s oldest operating galleries of Native American art. Visitors to the store can purchase a range of contemporary craft and fine arts by Native American artists, ceramics, vintage and antique jewelry, and textiles.
The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian was founded in 1937 by Navajo singer and medicine man, Hastiin Klah and Bostonian Mary Cabot Wheelwright. The Museum building was blessed and built in the early 1930s and named as the House of Navajo Religion and the Navajo House of Prayer before being renamed as the Museum of Navajo Ceremonial Art and opened to the public. After the sweeping repatriation changes of the 1960s and 1970s, when the Navajo Nation exerted its independence, the museum changed its name to the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in 1977. Today, the Museum maintains its ever-growing, world-renowned collections that chronicle and display Navajo art and culture from 1850 to the present and presents evolving displays and exhibits on traditional, contemporary and modern Navajo and other Native American arts and crafts.
Exhibits / Collections
The Wheelwright Museum’s collection includes a variety of contemporary and historic Native American art, ranging from folk art, carving, kachina dolls, basketry, metalwork, jewelry, and textiles of the Rio Grande Pueblo, the Navajo, and other peoples native to New Mexico. The Museum also has archives of historical papers, documents, and publications from noted artists and scholars.
The Museum also houses collections of sand painting textiles by renowned artist Hastiin Klah, as well as other materials containing religious and ceremonial imagery, which are considered culturally sensitive by the Navajo Tribe and can be accessed with appointment through the Historic Preservation Department of the Navajo Tribe.
The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is located at the 704 Camino Lejo in Santa Fe and is open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is free to the public the first Sunday of every month and guided docent-led tours of the Museum are offered on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sundays at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.
The Museum features the Case Trading Post shop, which was established in 1975 and is one of the region’s oldest operating galleries of Native American art. Visitors to the store can purchase a range of contemporary craft and fine arts by Native American artists, ceramics, vintage and antique jewelry, and textiles.
704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, Phone: 505-982-4636
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