Contact: Leanne Gideon, 277-0896
Laurie Mellas-Ramirez, 277-5915

April 16, 2001

OPEN FORUMS SET FOR HARWOOD MUSEUM DIRECTOR CANDIDATES

Candidates for director of the University of New Mexico's Harwood Museum in Taos are scheduled to begin Monday, April 23, in room 218 of Dane Smith Hall.

Candidate forums are as follows:

The new director will succeed Robert M. Ellis who retires June 30.

Established 77 years ago, the Harwood Museum of Art, located about two blocks southwest of the Taos Plaza at 238 Ledoux Street, is New Mexico's second-oldest museum. Renowned Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem, who is credited with creating the University's distinctive "Pueblo Revival" style of architecture, designed much of the historic adobe home that houses the museum. The museum receives about 17,000 visitors annually from all over the United States and Europe.

In 1997, the museum completed a $1.5 million major renovation project, involving more than 7,000 square feet of renovated space and the addition of some 4,000 square feet of new construction. The Harwood dedicated the Agnes Martin Gallery to highlight the museum's collection of her work.

Agnes Martin is widely recognized as one of the nation's finest living artists -- a fact noted by the Harwood in 1947 when Martin, a graduate student at UNM's Field School of Art, exhibited her work at the museum. In 1997, she gifted seven of her paintings to the Harwood where their permanent home is in the special, octagonal-shaped gallery named for her.

The Harwood preserves a unique record of both northern New Mexico's multicultural heritage and Taos' role in the development of seminal American art. Since 1923, the Harwood has been home to paintings by the early Taos Society of Artists, works by Marsden Hartley, John Marin and Rebecca James and the Taos Moderns, including Andrew Dasburg.

Contemporary artists in the collection include Larry Bell, Ken Price, Larry Calcagno, Beatrice Mandelman and Vija Celmins.

The Harwood Museum of Art also holds a significant collection of early Hispanic tinwork, retablos and bultos (three-dimensional carvings of saints), many of which were gifted by Mabel Dodge Lujan, the New York arts patron who moved to Taos and introduced Ansel Adams, D.H. Lawrence, Edward Weston, Georgia O'Keeffe and many others to the New Mexico landscape.

The director will plan, organize, and direct all operations of the Harwood Museum.

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