||The Spanish Colonial Arts Society
The Spanish Colonial Arts Society was founded in Santa Fe in 1925 by writer Mary Austin and artist/writer Frank G. Applegate. Its purpose was to preserve and perpetuate the Hispanic art forms that have been produced in New Mexico and southern Colorado since the region was colonized by Spain in 1598.
Nearly a century later, its mission has been accomplished and expanded. Through the preservation and exhibition of its Spanish Colonial art collections at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, sponsorship of the annual Spanish Market exhibitions and a range of outreach programs, the society is now a leader in the public education of traditional Spanish Colonial art and culture.
The Spanish Colonial Arts Society collections were initiated in 1928. Today with 3,000 objects, the collections are the most comprehensive compilation of Spanish Colonial art of their kind. Dating from the Middle Ages to the New Millennium, the collections span centuries in art, place and time. Among the various media featured are santos (painted and sculpted images of saints,) textiles, tinwork, silverwork, goldwork, ironwork, straw appliqué, ceramics, furniture, books, and more.
A host of comparative objects from Spain and Latin America as well as Asia, Bulgaria, France and other worldly locales further illustrate the faraway influences that converged during the colonial era to inspire artists and art forms. All combined, the collections represent the artistic history and ongoing evolution of Hispanic culture in New Mexico, while firmly establishing its important place within the global arts landscape.
TThe Museum of Spanish Colonial Art is housed in a building that is part of the legacy of the acclaimed late architect John Gaw Meem. The building is a classic example of the Spanish Colonial or Pueblo Revival architectural style that Meem pioneered in New Mexico in the early 20th century. It also reflects Meem's personal interest in the region's Hispanic culture and his longtime involvement with the Spanish Colonial Arts Society.
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