Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts

Summer of Color is New Mexico True

Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts

750 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe NM

Hours:  The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays. During the summer months, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm.

Admission:  Admission to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art costs $5 per adult; Guided or self-guided options are both available; Schedule your FREE guided school group visit by contacting our education department, 505.982.2226 x 121; Children 16 and under are always admitted FREE; Sundays are FREE for New Mexico residents with ID; Wednesdays are FREE for New Mexico resident seniors with ID; Museum members are always admitted FREE.


The only museum in the country dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting the art of the Spanish colonial period including Hispanic New Mexico. The Museum houses an incredible collection of over 3700 pieces, including historically significant and contemporary works. The building itself, a Pueblo Revival-style building, was designed by renowned architect John Gaw Meem in 1930. Writer Mary Austin and artist/writer Frank G. Applegate founded the Spanish Colonial Arts Society in Santa Fe in 1925. Its purpose is to preserve and perpetuate the Hispano art forms that have been produced in New Mexico and southern Colorado since the region was colonized by Spain in 1598, and to educate the public about these art forms and the art of all the Spanish colonies.

Exhibitions on view during Summer of Color 2015:

Blue on Blue: Indigo and Cobalt in New Spain - Opening May 8th, and curated by Robin Farwell Gavin, Blue on Blue: Indigo and Cobalt in New Spain will explore the use and importance of blue dyes and pigments in colonial life and the continued popularity of blue among the traditional arts of today. From images of the Virgin Mary to household blankets, ceramics, and friar’s tunics, blue was an integral part of the colonial world. The desire for blue-and-white ceramics led to a near 300-year monopoly for the workshops of New Spain creating pottery in imitation of Chinese porcelains. The qualities of a blue pigment he found being used at Zuni pueblo led Spanish adventurer Bernardo Miera y Pacheco to write to Spain about the importance and economic potential of ‘Zuni blue.’ Indigo, then as now, was widely used by weavers and was the prominent color in many New Mexican and native textiles. The pervasive popularity of blue over the centuries is reflected in a diverse array of stunning pieces. Through February 28, 2016

Tradición, Devoción y la Vida: 80 years of Black and White Photography in New Mexico and Mexico -- from June 8th, 2015 Featuring photographs from the collection of Anne and William Frej.

Opening to the public on June 13, 2015, this exhibition highlights the works of some of the greatest modernist and twentieth century photographers at work in New Mexico and New Mexico – names such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Humberto Suastes, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, John Collier, Laura Gilpin, Myron Wood and Nancy Hunter Warren.

In addition to these photographers, highly important and more contemporary photographers such as David Michael Kennedy, Norman Mauskopf, Miguel Gandert, Sebastião Salgado, Graciela Iturbide, Marianna Yampolsky, Alicia Ahumada and Antonio Turok are also included.

The photographs, all in black and white, form a continuum. Whether Paul Strand or Manuel Alvarez Bravo in the 1920s and 1930s, or Graciela Iturbide and Miguel Gandert in the contemporary world, these works of art are all imbued with a deep and reverential sense of underlying cultural traditions. Some photographers sought out sacred images, others found subjects that are more profane, in the strict sense of representing everyday life, but they all speak to the ceremony of life.

Customs and mores in New Mexico and Mexico, though they clearly have things in common, are often very different in the details. What unites these images from New Mexico and Mexico – whether they feature Penitentes, religious feast days and processions, or landscapes and slices of daily life -- is the omnipresence of a historical and spiritual tradition lived out in the face of an implacable landscape and scant resources. The power of the human spirit and its ability to offer devotion and bear witness to faith is the real subject of this exhibition. Through October 2015.

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: Images from the Collections features timeless images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, spanning decades, from the collections of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. Through September 8, 2015

 Boxed In features a wide variety of contemporary, artisan-made boxes and nichos from the collections of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.  Through 2015

The Beltrán-Kropp Collection from Peru, The exhibition includes a permanent gift of 40 objects from Peru, as well as a number of objects from other countries collected by Pedro Gerardo Beltrán Espantoso, Peru’s Ambassador to the United States (1944-45) and Prime Minister of Peru (1959-1961), and his wife, Miriam Kropp Beltrán. Ongoing

Early Twentieth-Century Artists of New Mexico, ongoing

Conexiones: the Delgado Room and A World of Art, ongoing