In the last five years, the historic New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe has seen an improved lobby layout, repair of the building’s foundation, and the installation of energy efficient components.
Now museum officials, in an exhaustive effort to maintain and protect all aspects of a structure that was opened in the fall of 1917, want to conduct a professional survey of all of the building’s exterior woodwork, with a long-term goal of preserving it.
Housing a collection of more than 20,000 paintings, prints, photographs and other items, the building at 107 West Palace Avenue is regarded by some architectural historians as being equally important for its exterior as what it holds inside.
Designed by architect Isaac Rapp, the Pueblo Revival-style structure is the oldest art museum in the state, with design elements that are a combination of both Native American and Spanish Colonial styles.
The first phase of the woodwork survey is expected to include a work plan designed to ensure the long-term protection of the structure’s exterior.
If funding can be secured, the second phase will see the implementation of that work plan to be done in conjunction with the museum’s staff, as well as the state’s Historic Preservation Division.
By Garry Boulard
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