Santa Fe and the New Mexico Museum of Art

June 19, 2018

On our first visit to Santa Fe we focused on the art of Georgia O’Keeffe. We visited the museum dedicated to her  works right here in town and then traveled and toured her home in Abiquiu. Here is a link to my blog post of 2017 O’Keeffe museum.

There is much more to Santa Fe’s art scene than Georgia O’Keeffe. The brilliance of color is everywhere here. Whether your looking at street art or walking into the many diverse (and very pricey) art galleries or taking in the many wonderful museums,  the art is vivid, abundant and very reagional.

Today we visited two museums in town. First up was the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. The museum was a total surprise, as I expected it to be more in line with a history museum but it was far from it. They had a nice arrangements of objects from the colonial time, including a room wth decorative pieces of the time,  but they also had a fabulous exhibition of contemporary Hispanic art. We were drawn to the social commentary and the painterly skills of these artist. This is a private museum so we couldn’t use our North America Reciprocal Museum card (which we get with our membership at the North Carolina Museum of Art) but the admission fee is only $10 and we’ll worth it.


From there we headed to the New Mexico Museum of Art and we got there just in time  to catch a docent lead tour, which is my favorite way to start a visit to a new museum. I love to get the lay of the land from a docent, and then return on my own after the tour to revisit favorites and pieces we missed. This museum is mostly regional art but they have a good blend of traditional and innovative art from diverse cultures of the region. They combine these different practices in their galleries which makes for great comparison and conversations.

We saw the works of Will Shuster. He was one of a group of artist that moved to Santa Fe in the 1920s and helped to put it on the map as an art colony. He built the first Zozobra which is a paper-mache six foot figure where you put “ your written worries and sorrows” to be burned during a local celebration. This tradition came from the Yaqui Indians of Mexico in which they burned an effigy of Judas during Holy Week. If you travel to Santa Fe in September make sure to catch this celebration and burn your cares away.


A small but delightful  gallery was dedicated to the works of Gustave Baumann. Here were displayed such a variety of mediums from woodcut prints to drawings, paintings, sculptures, furniture design and  delightful marionettes. I really didn’t know this artist but was totally captivated by his work.

The museum has a large photography collection and on special exhibition today was the works of Patrick Nagatami. His photo creations were really astounding. We spend a good part of our day at this delightful museum. I highly recommend a visit, a wonderful way to spend your day in Santa Fe.


After that we walked around the town square and were inspired to buy some black on black pottery pieces from the Santa Clara Pueblo pottery. These two pieces were made by mother and daughter. I’m so excited to display these when I get home! Notice the necklace right under it, I wanted that too but settled for the pots 😄

8F52C887-8FC2-4E53-81F2-7D4368B8500BWe have the better part of the week left here so we’ll keep you posted to our new adventures and discoveries.


2 thoughts on “Santa Fe and the New Mexico Museum of Art

  1. Love traveling in spirit with you guys. I love the black on black pottery, but I would have pushed for the necklace too.


  2. Some things are meant to be, Lucy in an art gallery, strawberries and cream, etc We loved the black on black pots and as for the necklace-well its never to early to write to Santa.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s