Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and situated at the nexus of Spanish, American and Native American history, the Museum of New Mexico is a repository for a vast selection of art, design and material culture from around the world. Collection highlights include:
Unique among American places, Santa Fe has long been a magnet for a rare mix of cultures and styles. Interwoven in its design traditions and dwellings are the antiques and influences of Spanish and Mexican colonists, a large and diverse Native American population, rustic frontiersmen and East Coast transplants who brought with them European classicism and 19th century Americana. Over many generations, Santa Fe’s aesthetic has evolved into a comfortable juxtaposition of old and new – modern and traditional – tribal and tailored. Santa Fe's rich international cultural identity and craft traditions are a result of the regions history and the people who have lived and traveled here over the last four centuries.
Because New Mexico is home to over 19 Indian Pueblos, the region has enduring Native American cultural and craft traditions. Moreover, as a colony of Spain and Mexico for more than 225 years, the city was the northernmost stop on the 1500-mile colonial Camino Real trade route that delivered Asian and European goods brought by the Spanish to Mexico. In 1822, a year after Mexico’s independence from Spain, the city became the terminus of the famed Santa Fe Trail, carrying American-made products to the region. Four years after the Mexican-American War, the 1850 designation of New Mexico as a U.S. Territory set the stage for the 1879 arrival of the railroad, bringing more eastern US residents and their American wares. In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state. These long-lived European and Latin American influences, combined with those of Native American art and culture shaped Santa Fe into a truly unique city know as “the city different.”