The mission of the University of New Mexico Art Museum is to encourage an understanding and appreciation of art and its multiple roles in society by collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art drawn from its permanent collection and traveling exhibitions. Through a combination of teaching, active research, public programming, and open conversations with members of the university community, as well as other communities that are local, regional, national, and international in scope, the museum cultivates engaged, interactive learning about the visual arts.
The UNM Art Museum, as a dynamic part of the state’s flagship institution of higher learning, is first and foremost a teaching museum. The museum was founded in 1963 and its collections have grown exponentially over the years reflecting the university’s unique location, the museum’s status as a resource, and the interests of its supporters.
The Museum’s collection includes painting, photography, prints, and sculpture with particular strengths in American prints and works by the Transcendental Painting Group. It also houses the estate collection of Raymond Jonson and Clinton Adams and is the archive for the Tamarind Lithography Workshop (1960-1970) and the Tamarind Institute (1970-present). Begun by Van Deren Coke and enhanced by Beaumont Newhall, the vast works on paper collection includes over 10,000 photographs and early cased objects, more than 10,000 prints, which date from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) to the present day, and nearly 1,500 drawings.