This 5,000-square-foot adobe museum occupies a classically Southwestern former home designed in 1930 by acclaimed regional architect John Gaw Meem. The Spanish Colonial Art Society formed in Santa Fe in 1925 to preserve traditional Spanish-colonial art and culture, and the museum, which sits next to the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture complex, displays the fruits of the society's labor—one of the most comprehensive collections
of Spanish-colonial art in the world. Objects here, dating from the 16th century to the present, include retablos (holy images painted on wood or tin), elaborate santos, tinwork, straw appliqué, furniture, ceramics, and ironwork. The contemporary collection of works by New Mexico Hispanic artists of the 20th century helps put all this history into regional context. On the grounds outside, you can also view the exterior of a 1780s Mexican Colonial house and visit the small but colorful Artist's Garden.