Last updated: 11/8/2010
Carlsbad, New Mexico
418 W. Fox St.
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Monday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Admission is FREE!
Museum Type(s)
Patsy Jackson Christopher, Director

Established in 1931, the Museum's exceptional permanent exhibits focus on local and regional history, Native American art and artifacts, modern, contemporary and Western art. Enjoy the McAdoo Collection of Taos Ten paintings, the Heinemann Collection of Peruvian antiquities, the Pueblo pottery collection and explore galleries of local and regional history displays, plus outstanding changing exhibitions. Envision new worlds of art, history and culture! The History Gallery features an exhibit of photographs and artifacts dedicated to the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery of the New Mexico National Guard. Called to active service in the Philippines in World War II, these men from Eddy County were captured by the Japanese in 1942 and forced to endure the Bataan Death March. Explore the dandy Carlsbad Museum & Art Center in the beautiful setting of Halagueno Arts Park, less than two blocks west of Canal Street (Hwy 285). Open 10am - 5pm Monday - Saturday. Closed Sundays and holidays. Admission Free.


The Carlsbad Museum and Art Center seeks to carry out its mission as a cultural and educational institution through the collections, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of artifacts, documents, and works of art relating to the prehistory, history, and aesthetic environment of the city of Carlsbad and the surrounding communities of southeastern New Mexico and the greater American Southwest. The greater Southwest is defined as including New Mexico, west Texas, Arizona, and northern Mexico.


The oldest municipal museum in the state, the Carlsbad Museum was founded in early 1931 by the Carlsbad Archaeological and Historical Society. The Museum shared a building with the Carlsbad Public Library in Halagueno Park, downtown Carlsbad. The first curator and field archaeologist was R.M.P. “Bill” Burnet, a volunteer. From the first the Carlsbad Museum was affiliated with the Museum of New Mexico, becoming one of the Branch Museums when that program began in 1938. In 1937 responsibility for funding and staffing the Museum was taken over by the City of Carlsbad. Ina J. White, a former journalist, became the first paid Museum curator and registrar. Working with the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Nebraska, the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of New Mexico on excavations in New Mexico and Texas, Burnet built up an outstanding archaeological and paleontological collection. Ina White was a dauntless promoter of the Museum, which attracted visitors from around the world. The Carlsbad Museum was touted in advertisements as “second only to the Museum of New Mexico.” Through the 1950s and 1960s the Museum’s doors were kept open, but few items of importance were added to the collection. In the 1970s the Museum gained a Fine Arts Committee, a new facility incorporating permanent fine art galleries and a temporary exhibition space, and a new name: “Carlsbad Museum & Art Center.” In the 1980s the Museum got its own Board and a paid director. The fine arts collections have grown steadily through acquisitions and donations, notably the William and Christine McAdoo Collection of paintings by the Taos Society of Artists.


Wheelchair Accessible



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