New Mexico November 18, 2017
The Oldest Museum In New Mexico Is Officially Turning 100 Years Old
Most people know art is a big part of New Mexico’s identity. It seems it art has always been important here, with the New Mexico Museum of Art being commissioned in the state’s very early years. Now, the museum – the oldest in the state – is having its 100th birthday and you’re invited.
The New Mexico Museum of Art started its journey in 1915, just three years after New Mexico became a state. In March of that year, the state legislature approved $30,000 for building the museum. Over the next two years, more funds were raised, land was acquired, and construction got underway.
The Museum finally opened November 24, 1917. Shown here, from the Museum archives, is the Museum as it looked soon after it opened (~1918).
Today, the museum's permanent collection has more than 20,000 works, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, prints and drawings, with special emphasis on works from artists connected to the region. You can even access some of the collection digitally, through the museum's website.
As well as art exhibits, the Museum hosts a variety of music and cultural events in its St. Francis Auditorium. Organizations including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Santa Fe Community Orchestra have performed at this intimate 450-seat venue.
In anticipation of the centennial, and hopefully another successful 100 years, the Museum has been closed for two months for a face lift; restoring some of the museum's original majesty.
Even the courtyard has been restored and replanted.
To celebrate its 100 years, the museum will host a free, day-long birthday event for all ages. The event takes place Saturday, November 25, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Museum, on the surrounding streets, as well as on the historic Santa Fe Plaza.
Continuing the celebration all year, the Museum also will hold 100 special events throughout the year.
The New Mexico Museum of Art is located at 107 West Palace Avenue, in Santa Fe. After the birthday celebration, regular hours will resume.
For more on the New Mexico Museum of Art, including hours and admission, see the museum website at http://www.nmartmuseum.org.
Have you been to the New Mexico Museum of Art? What were some of your favorite exhibits? Do you have plans to go back – or maybe visit for the first time? Talk to us in the comments.