The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fewas founded in 2002 by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and is currently the only museum in the country dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting the art of the Hispanic Southwest.
Set in a ‘Spanish-Pueblo Revival’-style building designed by renowned architect, John Gaw Meem, the small museum houses an extraordinary collection of over 3,700 works from the Hispanic Southwest, including historically significant and contemporary pieces. Signature exhibits include ‘La Casa Delgado’ (‘The Delgado Room’), which recreates the late colonial New Mexican room of captain Manuel Delgado, and the ‘Costume Corner,’ which showcases traditional outfits from the 19th century and Spanish Colonial era.
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art was established in 2002 by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, which was founded in 1925 by writer Mary Austin and artist Frank G. Applegate with the aim of preserving and presenting art forms and the art of all the Spanish colonies. The Society managed to do just that and 90 year on, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art not only exhibits its now vast collection of works from the Hispanic Southwest but also offers a range of educational and community outreach programs and sponsors the semi-annual ‘Spanish Market’ exhibition, which is held every summer on the Santa Fe Plaza in July since 1965. A Winter Spanish Market was added in 1989 by the Society and takes place in December at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Exhibits / Collections
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art houses an extraordinary collection of over 3,700 works from the Hispanic Southwest, including historically significant and contemporary pieces. Signature exhibits include ‘La Casa Delgado’ (‘The Delgado Room’), which recreates the late colonial New Mexican room of captain Manuel Delgado, and the ‘Costume Corner,’ which showcases traditional outfits from the 19th century and Spanish Colonial era.
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art’s collection of Spanish Colonial art date from the Middle Ages to the New Millennium, and include a vast array of different artifacts, objects, materials and more. The collections contain ceramics, books, silver and goldwork, textiles, straw appliqué, ironwork, and furniture, along with the traditional Santos - painted and sculpted images of saints.
The Museum is also the primary sponsor of the semi-annual Traditional Spanish Market held every summer and now the Winter Spanish Market every December at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The oldest and largest juried Spanish market in the country, the summer market is a celebration of Hispanic Heritage and culture. In addition to fabulous artworks, there is also traditional Hispanic food, music, and dance on offer. Both the summer and winter markets provide a space for over 250 artists to share their heritage and culture with the public, showcasing original works where traditional methods and materials have been used to ensure authenticity. The summer market, called Traditional Spanish Market, also features the Youth Market where up-and-coming artists between the ages of seven and 17 and learn about the traditional arts.
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art offers a wide range of educational programs for both children and adults. Programs for adults include art classes and workshops, lecture series and symposiums on archeology, history, culture, and geography, and guided docent-led tours of the facility. Youth programs are held in the Youth Gallery where children can complete puzzles, enjoy coloring sheets and weaving activities, read a story or examine Costume Nicho. Free educational outreach programs include ‘ArtConnections,’ which are classes in the traditional Spanish colonial arts, such as straw appliqué, colcha embroidery, retablos, pottery, tinwork, and weaving. Field trips are also available along with docent-led museum tours.
The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art is located at 750 Camino Lejo in Santa Fe and is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and seven days a week during the summer. Docent-led tours are free of charge to chaperoned school groups (advanced booking required), and the Curtin-Paloheimo Museum Shop sells a unique selection of locally made artworks and a hand-picked assortment of regional gifts, along with educational books, fine and costume jewelry, wearable art, and original artworks.
750 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, Phone: 505-982-2226, spanishcolonial.org