Museum of International Folk Art
706 Camino Lejo, Museum Hill
Founded in 1953 by Florence Dibell Bartlett (a Chicago native who frequently traveled to New Mexico for its unique art and culture), this is one of Santa Fe's largest museums, with a collection of more than 130,000 works. Bartlett donated the funds to build the first building—which still stands today, though the museum has undergone several expansions—right before her death in the early 1950s, citing the belief that different and often-conflicting cultures of the world might understand each other better through art. Though most of the collection lives in storage, visitors can expect to see tens of thousands of works on any given visit, so this is the kind of place where you can choose your own adventure, breezing through to get the gist, or digging in for a day to focus on individual pieces.
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
704 Camino Lejo, Museum Hill
Born out of a partnership between a Navajo singer and a wealthy Boston philanthropist who began documenting Navajo traditions in the wake of forced assimilation and conversion, the Wheelwright Museum hosts exhibitions that celebrate the history of Native American tradition and look towards the future with exhibitions of living artists. Come here for traditional jewelry and weaving, historical and recent photography, and great talks on Native American issues.
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