Skip to Content

Mission Statement

Gladys “Sratyu'we” Paquin, Laguna/Zuni Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo Pot, 1992. Western Rio Grande.
Natural pigments & clay from Laguna Pueblo, H: 10.75 in. (27.3 cm). Diam: 13.75 in. (34.9 cm). Photo Carrie Haley.




The Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts is dedicated to increasing public awareness, education, and appreciation of indigenous art through its programs, exhibitions, and individual study. The Coe emphasizes hands-on experience, learning through actively engaging art—the collection you can touch. The Coe’s collection represents worldwide indigenous cultures, with its core encompassing the span of historic to contemporary North American Native works.

Welcome to the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts. It is an exciting and transformative time as we are at the beginning of the once-in-a-lifetime building from the ground up the legacy that Ted left us; continuing his life’s work by serving three broad purposes, education, collecting, and connoisseurship. Finding meaning in these purposes and putting those understandings to work is our mission.

Ted’s excitement about collecting came not only from the objects themselves, but the past, present, and even future history behind each object; their stories became part of his story. He engaged and fed his thirst for learning by being open and unafraid to look beyond, to test boundaries. His enthusiasm was, and remains, infectious. He was inclusive and embracive. This is the essence of the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts.

The collection of over 2000 works of art is a catalyst to this means. Ted considered each object a doorway, an opportunity to learn to see—to really see. Like Ted, the Coe Center embraces the expansive view beyond the physical object. Every piece is “unfinished” or part of a larger set of ideas continuously evolving; a never-ending conversation, which flows and ebbs, twists and turns, takes you to places you never imagined, and never ceases; to look beyond, not just exploring the everyday meanings of things, but beyond to the profound. Our commitment is to create innovation and newness; a space in-between constructed to encourage and connect, using Ted’s own words to “draw us into a circle”.

The continuance and creation of connoisseurship is the focus of the Center. Coe believed that through communication and knowledge one can learn how to “see” and discover quality. Coe said about his appreciation of tribal arts: All my life I’ve relied on…a measured process of aesthetic absorption…returning over and again to the individual art work. I revisit and bear constantly in mind the objects in my own collection…. They are not trophies but instruments of passion, with the power to unexpectedly reveal mysteries.

Your generous support will allow us to convene diverse groups of people to prepare a curriculum that is inclusive and innovative; increasing public appreciation of indigenous arts and culture and opening up new worlds to all ages. We hope you will consider a donation today.

Please send your check to:
Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts
Aspen Plaza
1590 B Pacheco Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505

I, and the Ralph T. Coe Center board and all those who benefit from your gift, sincerely thank you.

Rachel de W. Wixom
President, CEO
and Ralph T. Coe's niece

The Center is a 501(c)(3) and therefore your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.