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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue:  March 25, 2002
Volume 37, Number 17

Jonson Gallery Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The Jonson Gallery of the UNM Art Museum has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ninth building at UNM to be so honored. The gallery is also listed on the New Mexico Register of Significant Cultural Properties.

The gallery is the former home, studio and gallery of Raymond Jonson, professor of art at UNM from 1934 to 1956, one of the key figures in establishing New Mexico as a major center of modern art in the United States.

Jonson contracted with long-time friend, architect John Gaw Meem, in 1948 to design the house, the first of its kind in Albuquerque, as a reflection of the complete life of the artist, including living space, a studio, workshop, storage and, of course, a gallery. Then University President Tom Popejoy agreed to build the home in trade for Jonson’s residence in Santa Fe, also designed by Meem, and the artist’s entire archive, including his works and those of his colleagues.

Jonson’s archives included letters, diaries, notes and furniture; a one-of-a-kind desk and matching chair handcrafted for Jonson by B.J.O. Nordfeldt, a special part of the Jonson collection.

Since Jonson’s death in 1982, the gallery has been part of the UNM Art Museum and has continued Jonson’s tradition of showing the best and most challenging contemporary works in the region.