Programs & Services

What’s Happening While We’re Closed: Lobby Renovation, Signage & Sustainability

November 8th, 2017

(Santa Fe, NM) --- With an eye toward the future, the ongoing renovation at the New Mexico Museum of Art is addressing sustainability issues to protect and preserve future exhibitions. Closed since mid-September for an extensive upgrade, the Museum reopens at 10:00AM on November 25th, launching its Centennial year celebration. The renovation work will restore, as much as possible, the original elegant simplicity of the interior public spaces of this building; and 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.

In the Museum lobby, the 2004 desks have been removed, and the new desk configuration will allow for improved visitor flow and more efficient use of space. An unused, non-working and non-history radiator has been removed.  The door to the patio is being extensively cleaned and the scratched Plexiglas is being replaced with a ¼’ clear tempered glass that will improve visibility to the courtyard.

Track lighting throughout the space is being added or replaced for a consistent look.  All existing track lighting is being removed. The new fixtures are dimmable to accommodate the various Museum uses of the lobby. The new lighting plan will return the sight lines along the ceiling while improving both the quality and spread of light.

Currently the film on the windows throughout the Museum that protects the interior from ultraviolent (UV) light, has deteriorated to the point that the edges are peeling and curling, and they no longer block UV light.  Sustainability is an integral part of the rehabilitation process at the Museum of Art. The remodel plan addresses sustainability, reintegrating historic energy conserving features (roller window shades) where applicable, and replacing deteriorated existing features (UV window film) with a similar product which will not obscure or damage the facility’s character-defining features while at the same time protecting exhibited art works.

The purpose of the UV window film is two-fold: first it helps to reduce the visible and UV light in the spaces with minimum intrusion of the historic architectural features. All light is damaging to the artwork and historic woodwork in the museum and needs to be controlled. UV is particularly damaging and should be completely eliminated.

The second purpose of the UV film is to increase the energy efficiency of the windows. A great deal of heat enters the building during the summer months through the windows. As an art museum, it is imperative that we maintain, to the best of our ability, a stable interior climate to preserve the artwork. Another objective of this work is to reduce the amount of electricity required to cool the building during those high heat months. The skylight apparatus will improve insulation in a non-visible manner while increasing energy efficiency and moisture protection and restoring a historical character of the galleries.

As part of the renovation, the stationary window covers are being replaced with window covers with roller screen shades. These shades offer UV protection for the artwork, and historic woodwork and furniture. The sheer material allows light to enter the room while reducing glare and softly focusing the view to the outside.

Throughout the museum, signage is being replaced for consistency and to improve the visitor’s ability to navigate the facility.  The signage throughout the museum will be designed for a cohesive and consistent look that meets ADA regulations.



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





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

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