Spanish Colonial Arts Society


A chronology of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society is listed below, highlighting key events over the past nearly 100 years.

Histories of the Society’s Museum Campus, Spanish Markets, Permanent Collections, and Reference Library may be found here:

1925 – The Spanish Colonial Arts Society was initiated as the Society for the Revival of Spanish Colonial Arts by writer Mary Austin (1868-1934) with assistance from artist/writer Frank Applegate (1881-1931) and with the Committee for the Preservation and Restoration of New Mexico Mission Churches spearheaded by architect John Gaw Meem (1894-1983).

1926 – Spanish Market was initiated during the Santa Fe Fiestas.

1928 – The Society began purchasing Spanish Colonial art.

1929 – The Society was incorporated on October 15th in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The objects of the incorporation are “to encourage and promote generally in New Mexico and elsewhere Spanish Colonial art; to preserve and revive the Spanish Colonial art and interest therein; to collect, preserve, and restore Spanish Colonial art of every character, to perpetuate and disseminate Spanish Colonial art in all its phases and manifestations; to promote and maintain suitable facilities and properties for the preservation of Spanish Colonial art and to that end to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire real estate or personal property for the housing of collections of Spanish Colonial art; to educate the public generally and the members of this corporation especially in the importance of Spanish Colonial art in the civilization of New Mexico and elsewhere, present, past, and future, and in the various phases of earlier art as well as its modern development in every branch of the same…”

1938-1951 – The Society was dormant after Mary Austin and Frank Applegate died. The Society’s permanent collections were housed at the Palace of the Governors and the Museum of Fine Arts.

1951 – E. Boyd (1903-1974) was hired as the first Curator of Spanish Colonial Art for the Museum of New Mexico. At the same time she revived the Society and was appointed as our Curator.

1953 – The Museum of New Mexico agreed to house the Society’s existing and future collections accessions in long-term storage at the newly constructed Museum of International Folk Art.

1965 – Alan Vedder (1912-1989) was hired as Curator to replace E. Boyd and to serve as the first manager of Spanish Market.

1996 – Spanish New Mexico: The Spanish Colonial Arts Society Collection was published as our “museum on paper.”

1998 – The historic house and property at 750 Camino Lejo was donated to the Society for use as a museum.

2000 The Stockman Collections Center was built as an addition to the historic house to hold the Society’s permanent collections and reference library.

2002 – The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art opened to the public.