Have you visited the University of New Mexico Art Museum? Admission is FREE.
One of the many benefits of sharing a city with a college is the access it provides to cheap and free cultural performances and – for the luckiest of us – art.
The museum of art on the Albuquerque campus proudly advertises that it is the home of New Mexico’s largest collection of fine art. In addition, the museum offers workshops and special events.
We deeply admire that the museum’s directors and staff take the concept of FREE and freedom beyond the admission tariff. In the words of the museum’s website welcome, “Being free, however, is about more than free admission. It is also UNMAM’s call and commitment to shedding vestiges of the art museum of the past—those that don’t serve art’s potential to create conversations and foster connections.”
UNMAM was founded in 1962. Its original director Van Deren Coke began collecting photography, which was unusual for the time. Today, the museum boasts a collection of more than 10,000 photographs that spans the 200 year history of the art form.
Another highlight of the museum’s collection is lithography.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art defines a lithograph as being created by a printmaking process in which a design is drawn onto a flat stone (or prepared metal plate, usually zinc or aluminum) and affixed by means of a chemical reaction.
In 1970, the Tamarind Institute moved from Los Angeles to Albuquerque and established its archive at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. The institute was founded in 1960 to “rescue” the dying art of lithography.
For all of its devotion to photography and valuable prints, the museum cultivates a vibrant collection of paintings and sculpture as well. You will find work by such artists with New Mexico connections as Georgia O’Keeffe, Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin, and Frederick Hammersley. Historic work on display reaches back to the 15th century.
When it comes to the bronzes, look for the likes of Ukrainian-American artist Alexander Archipenko, Gaston Lachaise, David Hare and Mark di Suvero. Do you prefer contemporary sculpture? They’ve got show stoppers by Luis Tapia, Luis Jiménez, Donald Judd, John Chamberlin, and Katharina Fritsch.
The museum is open to the public
Tuesday through Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm
Friday and Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm
It is open late when there are shows in Popejoy Hall.
The University of New Mexico Museum of Art is closed Sunday, Monday and major holidays.
UNMAM is at 203 Cornell Dr. NE in the Center for the Arts building.
You can find paid parking in the garage east of the Center for the Arts at Redondo Drive and Stanford.
Are you a museum fan who loves visiting them for free? Check out our list of FREE museum days in Albuquerque.