The New Mexico Museum of Art is slated to open a second location with a focus on contemporary art in Santa Fe sometime in 2020. The former Halpin State Archives Center is about a half-mile from the museum’s first location on the Santa Fe Plaza.
While the main museum building on the plaza will continue to showcase the museum’s 20th-century works and serve as a hub for community events and performances, the Railyard facility will present ambitious contemporary exhibitions, showcase working artists, celebrate the diversity of art being created in the area, continue to build what is already a world-class museum collection and better connect Santa Fe and New Mexico to contemporary art worldwide.
The contemporary art space has been part of the museum’s strategic plan since 2015. The limited square footage of the nearly 100-year-old, Pueblo-Revival icon on the Santa Fe Plaza limits the museum’s capacity to display and store works from its collection of over 23,000 works.
Along with the need for more space, a goal to showcase more art being produced now, as well as the emergence of the dynamic, creative and walkable Santa Fe Railyard district, combined to make the Halpin Building a logical second location.
In July 2017, it was announced that the architectural team of DNCA + StudioGP of Albuquerque, N.M., were selected to design the conversion of Halpin into an annex of the museum focused on contemporary art. The building is set to open to visitors sometime in 2020.
The Museum of New Mexico Foundation – an independent, nonprofit organization that raises money for the state museum and historic site system – is undertaking a $10 million campaign to bring the new project to fruition.