A Remarkable Year: Appreciating Gifts of Art and Education

Private support for the New Mexico Museum of Art through the Museum of New Mexico Foundation was remarkable during fiscal year 2022-2023 (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023) with total revenues of $1,639,000.

This funding made possible six world-class exhibitions, expanded education and outreach programs, and planning for the Vladem Contemporary inaugural exhibition, Shadow and Light. The downtown museum attracted 49,875 visitors, while anticipation for the opening of the Vladem Contemporary generated the donation of 31 works to the museum’s collection.

“Gifts to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation in support of programming and the museum’s endowment have permitted the museum to remain a dynamic presence in New Mexico’s cultural landscape,” says Mark White, the museum’s executive director.

Considerable donor interest in the museum’s education and outreach programs was the impetus to grow the number of on-site programs by 149 percent and that of off-site programs by a noteworthy 116 percent. Some 3,039 young people attended the museum’s public school programs.

Equally popular were museum exhibitions. Opening in July of 2022 was Transgressions and Amplifications: Mixed-Media Photography of the 1960s and 1970s. More than 100 photographs,
many from the museum’s collection, showcased the work of mid-twentieth-century American artists exploring the question “What defines a photograph?”

The 40 paintings in An American in Paris: Donald Beauregard, which opened in February 2023, surveyed modernist Beauregard’s short but ambitious career as one of the first artists
associated with the museum.

Also opening in February was The Nature of Glass, featuring 28 works from the museum’s expanding art glass collection. With the Grain, which went on view in March 2023, explored the intimate relationship between modern and contemporary Hispanic carvers in northern New Mexico and their materials.

Finally, in April 2023, 19 works drawn primarily from the museum’s collection were showcased in Manuel Carrillo: Mexican Modernist. The exhibition illuminated the photographer’s affectionate portrayal of his native Mexico.

The year also saw Christian Waguespack, the museum’s curator of 20th century art since 2017, take on additional responsibilities as the museum’s head of curatorial affairs. In addition to organizing exhibitions and programs at the downtown museum, he and museum staff kept busy during the fiscal year with preparations for the opening of the Vladem Contemporary.

Because of community-wide support, and the significant naming gift from Robert and Ellen Vladem, White says, "The museum can pursue with the Vladem Contemporary building its educational mission with state-of-the-art, climate controlled storage and exhibition spaces, a dedicated artist-in-residence studio and its first education space.”

Two exterior-facing Vladem Contemporary projects that provide 24/7 art experiences were funded by contemporary art collectors in the fiscal year. Barbara Foshay and Thomas Turney underwrote the storefront-like Window Box project featuring installations by emerging New Mexico artists. Foshay also helped fund Leo Villareal’s LED light installation, along with gifts from Cindy Miscikowski, the Edward Hastings and Gino Barcone Trust, Dee Ann McIntyre, and Pat and Jim Hall.

White notes the significance of the Vladem Contemporary as a venue that “will allow the museum to increase its capacity to accept donations of major contemporary art, helping to keep significant works in the state.” He says the museum’s “most notable and substantial gift,” from acclaimed writer, curator and activist Lucy Lippard, “gave us a meaningful range of contemporary art, expanding our collection’s breadth and depth.”

In planning Shadow and Light, the museum looked to the Lippard collection, as well as to other works donated by William Miller (Tongue-Cut Sparrow (Inside Outside) by
James Drake); David and Susan Hill (Stealth to Bring You Home by Erika Wanenmacher); and Virginia Dwan (Three-part Serial Cube Set by Charles Ross), among others. These help fill two galleries with an array of art created from the mid-20th century to the present day.


This article and image are from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Member News Magazine.