The IAIA Museum is both a professional and a teaching museum. As the site of the only baccalaureate Museum Studies program in the United States that focuses specifically on Native American and indigenous artworks, the IAIA Museum meets a unique need in Native American higher education. The museum’s collection is the environment within which IAIA’s Museum Studies students are trained: thus, the collection represents both their heritage and their future, and offers a powerful sense of continuity in their work.
The two biggest challenges were renovating a 70 year old historial building that was on the National Historical Register and its location on Santa Fe’s downtown historical Plaza. The building’s structural problems had worsened, putting limitations on the Museum Studies program, erecting barriers to exhibit parnerships with other museums, and endangering the collection. A substantial portion of this renovation work required specialized design and engineering of the architectural, mechanical and electrical aspects of the project to preserve the historical significance of the building and site.
- Owner: Institute of American Indian Arts
- Architect: BPLW
- Building Size: 24,000 SF
- Completion: Spring 2005