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.
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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