Celebrating 25 years – How the Museum Began
AMoCA’s structural history begins the same year as the infamous UFO crash - 1947 - when Don Anderson acquired a 5,000-square-foot metal building at 409 East College Boulevard to be used as a truck terminal and maintenance area for Don and his brother Robert O. Anderson’s oil business. The merging of art into 409 E. College began in the late 1980’s when Don capitalized on the building’s spacious high-vaulted interior and started to hang his own dynamic landscape paintings. By then, Don had an extensive private collection of artwork along with purchased, donated or traded works of art from the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program participants (RAiR began in 1967). It wasn’t until 1992 when RAiR artist Robbie Barber successfully inquired about creating a large installation including suspended golf-bag sharks that Gallery 409 had in its first formal exhibition. Barber’s show led to more group and solo exhibits, and soon Don was renovating the building and moving his own private office to spaces upstairs.
Don (re)opened 409 in 1994 as the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art to showcase to the public the growing permanent collection of RAiR artists’ work. Additions to the building in 2000 and 2007 (the 40th anniversary of the RAiR Program) more than doubled its footprint and its contents. Now, at the 25-year mark, the museum boasts 22,000 square feet and more than 500 artworks in 12 galleries.
AMoCA not only provides a public face to the private creative world of the RAiR residency, it has been a favored community venue since its inception. Almost half of the yearly visitation is event-related, and some come specifically for the only treasure at AMoCA not made with a RAiR affiliation - the Bösendorfer concert grand piano, a gift from Don in 2014. In the last five years alone, AMoCA has welcomed 261 events, including partnering with 46 community groups, schools and clubs to host everything from meetings and receptions to hands-on art activities and world-class performances.
Nancy Fleming, AMoCA Director
Anniversary Open House
Celebrate the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art’s 25th Anniversary!
Saturday, October 26, 2019 from Noon-8 PM
Family Activities • Noon-5 PM
Picnic in the Museum • Noon-7 PM
Adult Cantina • 5-7 PM
Art Bingo • 6-7 PM
RAiR Alumni Image Talk • 7-8 PM
Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, 409 E. College Blvd., Roswell, NM
For more information call (575) 623-5600