Donor Story

Agnes Martin

UNM Harwood Museum Celebrates History and Beloved Artist

Agnes Martin Gallery (photo credit: Tina Larkin)

Agnes Martin Gallery (photo credit: Tina Larkin)

On February 25, 2012, UNM’s Harwood Museum marked the beginning of a five month long exhibit featuring artist Agnes Martin’s early work and celebration of the centennial of her birth. Located in Taos, New Mexico, the Harwood Museum is one of the community’s most historic and prized properties.

The museum was established by Burt and Lucy Case (Elizabeth) Harwood who arrived in Taos in 1916. With no public library in Taos, Lucy began to loan the Harwood’s personal collection of books to the community. Ultimately, the Harwood’s home became an important social center for the local artists and the Taos community. In 1929, the Harwood opened an art program in collaboration with the University of New Mexico named the UNM Art Field School. Ultimately, in 1935, Lucy Case Harwood donated the Harwood to UNM with the provision that it “remain intact in Taos, serving as an educational, cultural and art center in connection with the work of the University.”

Attending the Art Field School in 1947 was student Agnes Martin, who became renowned as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The Harwood Museum features a unique octagonal gallery in her name designed to accommodate Martin’s gift of seven large paintings and to offer a comfortable silent space for observation. The Harwood Museum also includes over 3,000 works of art including masterpieces of Taos art ranging from 18th and 19th century Hispanic collections of santos and bultos, to works from the Taos Society of Artists, and works by contemporary artists. – Drea Kendall

For more information on upcoming exhibits or events at the Harwood museum, please visit: If you are interested in creating a legacy gift for the Harwood Museum, please visit: , or contact Sheila Hard at the UNM Foundation at or (505) 277-9604.