New Mexico Museum of Art

What’s Happening While We’re Closed: The Floors

October 25, 2017


(Santa Fe, NM) --- One month from today, the New Mexico Museum of Art will re-open its doors, launching its Centennial celebration, and its second century in operation. Built as a purpose-built art gallery for the Museum of New Mexico 100 years ago, it opened with much fanfare on November 25th, 1917. The museum was constructed to exhibit and celebrate art being made in New Mexico as well as to bring world class art and collections to the state, creating a venue that would be a catalyst for the transformation of Santa Fe into a cultural tourist destination.

The work being done is intended to reveal and restore, as much as possible, the original elegant simplicity of the interior public spaces of this building.  It is also designed to improve the visitor experience by creating a more welcoming entrance and brighter galleries that are more conducive to the enjoyment of art, as they were in 1917.

 As a part of the renovations, floors throughout the building are being restored to their original glory. When the Museum first opened its doors in 1917, the hand-poured concrete floors where a light color which helped to reflect light up onto the walls and ceiling. After 100 years of use and various treatments, the floors became dark, discolored and uneven. In various areas, the surface of the concert surface is partly deteriorating.

 “For the last year we have been working with a general contractor and concrete specialist to find a method that will help restore the floors to their original appearance and to stabilize the areas in need,” said Mary Kershaw, the Executive Director of the Museum of Art. “We are grinding, polishing and sealing 13,200 square feet of floors, plus 360 square feet of stair treads and risers.”

 Following The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Building staff is are working ensure that we identify, retain and preserve historic materials and features. Where necessary in order to replace missing historic features (light sconces, door handles, etc.), we have ensured materials are compatible with the overall historic character of the building while not creating a false historical appearance.

The Museum of Art will reopen at 10:00AM on Saturday, November 25, 2017.


Photos: Museum of Art Renovations October 6, 2017, Courtesy: NM Dept. of Cultural Affairs.


About the New Mexico Museum of Art:  Founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Art has been presenting innovative arts programming in downtown Santa Fe for a century.  At its founding, the museum collected and exhibited artworks by noted artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide array of exhibitions and a significant collection featuring work from the world’s leading artists. Today, as at its founding, the Museum of Art strives to bring the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico. Museum exhibitions and programs are supported by donors to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its Director’s Leadership Fund, Exhibitions Development Fund, and Fund for Museum Education. A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April, closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, just off the downtown Plaza in Santa Fe, NM 87501. 24 Hr. Recorded Message: (505) 476-5072; Front desk: (505) 476-5041. Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April, closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’sEvents, news releases and images about activities at the History Museum and Palace of the Governors and other in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at


Related Photos

Museum of Art Renovation Lobby Floors
Museum of Art Renovation Gallery Floor

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