New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors
The New Mexico History Museum, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, opened in Santa Fe in 2009 as the newest museum in the state-run chain of cultural institutions. Its mission: to tell New Mexico’s oldest stories, collect some of its oldest objects, and to preserve other cultural resources that represent the state’s centuries-long narrative.
Since 1610, the heart of this history has beat inside the earthen walls of the Palace of the Governors, the longest continually occupied government building in the United States. Once home to more than 60 governors and other officials—Spaniards, Pueblo Indians and Americans alike—the Palace was designated as the state’s first history museum in 1909. Today it remains the historical hub of a 96,000-square-foot museum cultural complex that includes more than 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Fray Angelico Chávez History Library and Photo Archives, and the Press at the Palace of the Governors.
Exhibitions and public programs document and interpret the compelling and culturally complex stories of the entire state—from prehistory, to Pueblo and Spanish life, to the Mexican era; from the Long Walk, to the railroad, to the cutting-edge science of Los Alamos; from Wild West outlaws and sixties hippies to modern-day artists. These and other stories illuminate the history, art and culture that have shaped the state as an international cultural destination.
The living art history of New Mexico’s Pueblo Indian peoples is represented daily under the south-facing portal of the Palace of the Governors. Artists representing nearly every pueblo sell and share the history of their handmade jewelry and art, interacting with New Mexicans and visitors for a cultural tourism experience like no other.