Mission and History

Our Mission

The Museum of New Mexico Foundation supports the Museum of New Mexico system through fund development for exhibitions and education programs, financial management, retail, licensing and advocacy.

The Foundation serves these New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs institutions:

Our History

The Museum of New Mexico Foundation was founded in 1962 by Thomas B. Catron III as a vehicle for providing private support for the four state museums in Santa Fe. The establishment of the private, nonprofit Foundation launched a robust private-public partnership between the Foundation and the State of New Mexico that continues today.

While the State of New Mexico funds building operations and staff salaries, “The Foundation provides a way for private funds to be directed to three vital areas of cultural support: education, collections and exhibitions,” says Catron.

The Foundation’s mission has expanded beyond the four state museums in Santa Fe to include support for seven historic sites statewide and the Office of Archaeological Studies. Today, thousands of generous members and donors contribute to all of our cultural institutions through membership, designated gifts and more.

Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $90 million in total giving from 25,000 donors and more than 15,000 members. Our role and impact in supporting one of the country’s largest state-run museum systems remains vital to the advancement of the art, history and culture of New Mexico and the world.