Welcome to the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection
Think of the State Capitol in Santa Fe and art is not necessarily what comes to mind. Santa Fe, with its plethora of art in museums, galleries, and shops can often be overwhelming for visitors. The Capitol Art Collection is an easily accessible, free, one-stop for contemporary art. It is among the most comprehensive collections of contemporary art in the region, featuring works by artists from Taos to Tucumcari and everywhere in between. The work is on permanent exhibition in the collection or on temporary exhibition in one of the Rotunda shows. Viewers can see something new on every visit to the Capitol as works are added on an ongoing basis.
The State Capitol, often referred to as the “Roundhouse,” because of its circular structure, houses this permanent, public collection of contemporary art by artists of New Mexico. It is a unique example of how art and politics can enhance each other. The Roundhouse’s circular and spacious design, offers optimal and abundant wall space and dramatic viewing angles. The collection exists throughout the Capitol Complex—the main building, the Annex walkway, the North Annex, and on the grounds.
The Capitol Art Collection was created in 1991 when the New Mexico Legislature founded the Capitol Art Foundation, a non profit art organization whose sole purpose is to direct the Capitol Art Collection and oversee the selection, acquisition, and exhibition of the artwork. The Capitol Art Foundation is made up of 25 to 30 art professionals from throughout the state who represent the artistic and geographic diversity of the state. The result is a model for preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting contemporary regional and local art that serves as an example for Capitols everywhere.