New Mexico History Museum - Connecting the Past, Present, and Future |
The Honoring Tradition & Innovation: 100 Years of Santa Fe’s Indian Market, 1922-2022 exhibition gallery. Photo by Tira Howard.

Our state’s history is complex. It’s worth a closer look. It’s ever-changing. 

The stories are here. New Mexico History Museum tells them through exhibitions, scholarship, exceptional collections, community building, and diverse perspectives. 

A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the museum’s campus in downtown Santa Fe reflects a multifaceted history interpreted within its walls and our state’s potential futures. In the halls of the Palace of the Governors, and the state-of-the-art Pete V. Domenici Building, visitors will find deeply considered exhibitions about the railroads, santos and Southwest jewelry, and a sweeping look through 500 years of New Mexico history. 

Palace of the Governors Portal. Photo by Blair Clark, NMDCA. The New Mexico History Museum is located at the Palace of the Governors. Here, Indigenous artists are selling their creations.
Palace of the Governors Portal. Photo by Blair Clark, NMDCA.

Palace of the Governors
at New Mexico History Museum

Palace of the Governors is a beloved icon, complex symbol, and anchor for the New Mexico History Museum. From the early 1600s, the Palace was the seat of government for Colonial Spain, then for Mexico, and finally for the United States. The modest, one-story adobe structure is the nation’s oldest, continuously occupied public building. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and recognized in 2015 as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

After its designation as the Museum of New Mexico in 1909, Palace of the Governors inspired the Spanish-Pueblo Revival style, which continues to be core to Santa Fe’s modern architectural aesthetic. Today, visitors can still walk the halls of the original Palace. The Palace Seen and Unseen: A Convergence of History and Archaeology is a glimpse into the structure’s architecture and history. Silver and Stones: Collaborations in Southwest Jewelry and The Santos of New Mexico are just two long-term exhibitions that can also be found within the Palace, exploring different layers of New Mexico History Museum’s extensive collections of Southwest art and jewelry. 

What to see and do at the History Museum

New Mexico History Museum is a significant cultural center, featuring several permanent and rotating exhibition spaces, an auditorium, Palace of the Governors, the Palace Press, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, and the Native American Artisans Portal Program. The museum serves a broad constituency of visitors—community members, tourists, school groups, and academics alike. And our exhibitions feature a variety of objects, multimedia installations, and interactive resources that bring history to life. 

Visit the museum to experience stories of the American west, from the early lives of Indigenous peoples to Spanish settlers, Mexican Independence, Santa Fe Trail merchants, the railroad, cowboys, outlaws, and scientists. 

Education is for everyone

Education is essential to the museum’s mission. Every visitor benefits from learning about New Mexico’s past. The museum also has initiatives tailored to school age children and regularly hosts school groups. We also feature regular lectures featuring artists and subjects from our exhibitions, hands-on educational programming, and more.

Visitors at the New Mexico History Museum. Photo by Kitty Leaken.
Visitors at the New Mexico History Museum. Photo by Kitty Leaken.

New Mexico History Museum
is a window into our shared past

New Mexico history is not a single, universally accepted story or an interwoven tale of three cultures. It’s a tapestry of narratives drawn from experiences of many people through time and throughout the entire state. Your knowledge as well as your emotional connection come through reflections on objects, images, and documents from past times — not only from those who used the objects but those who collected them. You learn from our past the many ways of being human, the dynamics of change, and the nature of society, leading to more informed citizenship, a more ethical society, and a greater quality of life.

For more information about admission and how to plan your visit, go to 

If you’d like to explore more of New Mexico’s history and culture, be sure to read this story! Find out about a New Mexico CulturePass here.


Story by Bud Russo • Photographs courtesy New Mexico History Museum

Top image: The Honoring Tradition & Innovation: 100 Years of Santa Fe’s Indian Market, 1922 – 2022 exhibition gallery. Photo by Tira Howard.



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This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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