The New Mexico Museum of Art opened in 1917 as a Contemporary Art Museum (perhaps the first in the country). Our collection is mainly 20th and 21st century American, Southwest art with an emphasis on works made by artists who have worked, lived, or been influenced by travel through the region since the introduction of the railway, around 1880. We also have an international, comprehensive photography collection and works by major artists of other periods, styles and locales.
The "Slices of the Collection" below are thematic selections by our curators designed to provide an overview of the Museum's collection of over 20,000 works of art.
For more in-depth exploration of the collection spend some time with our Searchable Art Museum (SAM).
Defining New Mexico
Outsiders looking at native cultures, native cultures proudly asserting their own points-of-view, the expression of common ground in reaction to historical events - the definitions of New Mexico are reflected in the Museum of Art collection.
The history of New Mexico art from the arrival of railroads into the territory to the present defines aesthetic fusions that have occurred across cultural divisions. This process is not without contradictions.