Albuquerque Museum to Acquire New Artworks from Living Local Artists – City of Albuquerque
June 30, 2021
Today, the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts and Culture and the Albuquerque Museum announced an investment of $ 100,000 in fiscal year 2022 for acquisitions of living artists from Albuquerque to fill the gaps in diversity in the museum’s art collection.
In 2020, the Albuquerque Museum’s art curatorial team assessed the museum’s art collections and used data-driven analysis to plan the future of acquisitions at the Albuquerque Museum. The data, combined with community feedback and suggestions from various community and arts groups, will inform decisions about future investments.
“The permanent collection of a museum is a legacy for future generations,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “While the Albuquerque Museum brings world-class exhibits to our city, its heart is celebrating the genius of our own city and state. With this investment, the museum can purchase works directly from artists living in Albuquerque, increasing the diversity of people represented and fundamentally improving the collection.
“Museums around the world grapple with their collections,” says Albuquerque Museum Chief Curator Josie M. Lopez, Ph.D. “As educational organizations, we have a unique responsibility to be custodians of the collection, as well as interpret the works in a way that engages our audiences, fosters inclusion, and tells important stories of art, artists and our city. ”
Lopez worked with Albuquerque artist Karsten Creightney to acquire a significant piece of work as part of a plan to include contemporary voices in the current collection. Creightney’s mixed media painting, Black Hills, was purchased directly from the artist in 2020 with public and private funds and is currently on display in Common Ground: Art of New Mexico.
Based on the analysis derived from the study, the Albuquerque Museum has the opportunity to ensure that the artists in its collection represent the diverse makeup of our city, state, and region. Funding from the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts and Culture will enable the museum to build its collection with a focus on Latin American artists, contemporary Native American artists, and artists important to New Mexico’s narrative. that have never been collected before, including women artists.
Over the past decade, the focus has been on diversifying the collections at the Albuquerque Museum. Leaders in the history and photographic archives departments take a fresh look at these collections and proactively connect with communities we didn’t have before, including New Mexico’s Jewish and Asian-American communities. The Albuquerque Museum has always been interested in telling stories of diversity – beyond the three cultures of Indigenous, Hispanic and Anglo – and breaking down stereotypes about what people expect to see in New Mexico.
“The fact that we are a general museum, not specific to a culture or a period, means that we can tell stories about the history and culture of New Mexico in the most expansive way,” says Andrew Connors, director of the Albuquerque Museum. “It is no longer enough to wait for gifts to arrive through donations. With funding, we can purchase items that fill significant gaps in our collection. It allows us – and challenges us – to tell the stories of New Mexico, in a richer, broader, and more thoughtful way. “
The Albuquerque Museum has an impressive collection of 10,000 works of art, 35,000 historical objects and over 130,000 items in a photographic archive that tell the story of New Mexico. The museum’s art collection includes works by prominent artists who lived and worked in New Mexico, including Fritz Scholder, Frederick Hammersly, Judy Chicago, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Luís Jiménez, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, among others.