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Our Legacy

Ralph T. Coe with Assiniboine Doll by Joyce Growing Thunder Fogarty, 2003
"All my life I've relied on this measured process of aesthetic absorption, whether the work is a Renaissance plaquette or a Native American wearing blanket. It involves returning over and again to the individual work of art. I revisit and bear constantly in mind the objects of my own collection, however large or small, to gain new insights. They are not trophies but instruments of passion, with the power to unexpectedly reveal mysteries."

The Coe Center has been operating since 2012 and is the legacy of Ralph T. Coe, known as Ted to his family and friends. Coe was an exceptional curator and collector, as well as museum director. His passion for art and culture was global, spanning from ancient to contemporary. His search for knowledge and his quest to understand the human condition is evident in the varied collections he left behind and in his creation of the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, a private operating 501(c)3 located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Coe Center is innately focused on education, embracing worlds not always known or understood. The Coe's wish is to inspire future generations from all walks of life and ages to be inquisitive and to search beyond their own known experience. Ralph T. Coe felt if one sincerely took the time to look at objects, they would draw us into the circle creating the opportunity to cross diversities leading to a greater understanding of our global and local world history to present day. Art can bring people together and should be accessible by all regardless of their background.

The Ralph T. Coe Center is dedicated to increasing public awareness, education, and appreciation of indigenous art. The Coe Center's collection represents worldwide indigenous cultures, with its core encompassing the span of historic to contemporary North American Native works. Through our varied programs, exhibitions, partnerships and outreach into the community, the Coe emphasizes a hands-on and intimate experience, learning through actively engaging. Please might you consider supporting our programs today? click here.