New Mexico Museum of Art

#11 in Best Things To Do in Santa Fe
New Mexico Museum of Art picture
Chris Corrie/TOURISM Santa Fe

Key Info

107 W. Palace Ave.

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The oldest art museum in the state, the New Mexico Museum of Art is set in a traditional adobe building and home to more than 20,000 pieces of art hailing from the Southwest. Pieces range from drawings, paintings and photographs to more unique displays like prints, textiles and quirky installations. The museum has a permanent collection and welcomes rotating exhibits; exhibits have included things like "Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar," which probes into all aspects of the instrument, and "Colors of the Southwest," which showcased vibrantly colorful and iconic watercolors, photographs and ceramics.

Recent visitors called the collection of art at this museum "interesting," "fabulous" and "refreshingly unpretentious." Many museumgoers loved the rotating exhibitions and said they often return to see what new pieces are on display.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (From May to October, it's open on Mondays as well and operates the same hours.)  Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for New Mexico residents (it's free to children ages 16 and younger), but if you're planning to visit a few state museums and historic sites (like the Museum of International Folk Art and the New Mexico History Museum) you may want to consider the $25 CulturePass that covers admission to all three sites and more. You can also visit for free on Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. May to October. You'll find the museum just off the Santa Fe Plaza, across the street from the Palace of the Governors. To read about current exhibits and learn more, visit the museum's website.

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Canyon Road
Santa Fe Plaza
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1 of 11
#1 Canyon Road

If there's any doubt that Santa Fe is a prime destination for art lovers, Canyon Road quashes it. Situated just east of the Santa Fe Plaza, Canyon Road is home to a slew of art galleries selling renowned artwork from famed artists such as Fernando Botero and cultural treasures like hand-woven Navajo rugs and Southwestern wood carvings. The area is touted as an art lover's mecca because of the variety of mediums used to highlight art. Pop into the different galleries (there are more than 50) along the street and you'll find everything from jewelry and pottery to sculptures and paintings. The street itself is also a feast for the eyes: Many of the galleries found here are housed in historic adobe buildings laced with brilliantly colored flowers, art installations are often showcased outside and the spicy odor of chile peppers wafts from the doorways of top-notch eateries like Geronimo Restaurant and Compound Restaurant.

Recent visitors said the best way to experience this arts district is simply by strolling down the street, adding that it's a wonderful way to experience art without being stuck indoors or inside a single museum. Travelers were impressed with everything from the variety of art to the pueblo architecture and said there are ample opportunities to snap photos of this vibrant site.

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