New Mexico Art Tells its History


The New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History website provides teachers with rich supplemental materials from the New Mexico Museum of Art collection. We selected 300 digital images of art objects, then added a history section to provide context for the images and links to resources for further study.

The project focuses on the history of New Mexico as illustrated in the museum’s exhibition book,The Art of New Mexico; How the West is One. It was compared against the state standards and benchmarks to identify matching themes and topics. Six themes tell the story of New Mexico: Ancestral Peoples; Opening the West; Growing New Mexico; and People, Places and Politics,  Art and Architecture and Geography and Environment.

Using the New Mexico Art Website

While the site focuses on NM history, the images also support the curriculum in geography, economics, and the visual arts. They can also be used in science, mathematics, language arts, writing, and critical thinking skills.

These images include:

  • a variety of primary and secondary sources,
  • resources from a cultural heritage institution,
  • a variety of media and technology,
  • authentic resources for initiating verbal and written discussion,
  • materials for differentiated learning

The Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) website, designed specifically to help teachers use visual images in the classroom, has a link giving the NM standards that can be used with VTS. (see link for New Mexico Academics: Visual Thinking Strategies list of standards for Gr 1-5

Points of Entry

Starting from the art pages - go to:

  • The "Art" page, or
  • One of the theme or topic pages, with thumbnail image links

Starting from NM standards:

Starting from a Theme or Topic, with historical context and links

Look for these icons:

History Interviews/

Components of the website

  • Art pages include:
    • Large image that can be viewed online or projected
    • Information about the artwork
    • Information about the author, as available
  • Historical context for each theme and topic
  • Links and references for further investigation, and Artist Biographical links
  • Interviews/podcasts
  • Historic and Geographic Maps of NM
  • NM Content Standards with Benchmarks
  • Site Map 


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