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Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Celebrates 40

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts celebrates 40 years at 4 p.m. August 17.

In 1972, a former Museum of New Mexico employee took a job at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) at its former home, the present grounds of the Santa Fe Indian School, and opened the first exhibition. With the help of IAIA student volunteers, Chuck Dailey organized student work and various beadwork, jewelry, paintings, pottery and sculptures for the inaugural exhibition, Earth Colors.

Since then, the IAIA Museum, now known as the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, has become one of the country’s leading museums for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists. After a move to historic downtown Santa Fe in 1992 and an extensive 13-year renovation, the museum is now a venue for exhibitions of artists who merit local, national and international recognition. Nearly 7,500 works of art have been collected from alumni, present students, faculty, staff and other artists for its permanent collections.

For more information about the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, go to

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