Dr. Richard Tobin At The Harwood Museum

The Harwood Museum of Art may be a centenarian but the new energy sweeping through its venerable hallways and galleries is deserving of our attention.

After telling a story recently, about the building that houses so many incredible collections (and a bit of personal history besides), I thought a series of short interviews with the people who make the museum and its myriad events happen, would be a great way for all of us to get to know them.. And, to discover what it is they do that makes the place as special as it is.

For this post I posed a few questions to Dr. Richard Tobin, the Harwood Museum’s Director.  Dr. Tobin is an Art Historian, an intellectual and academic, who brings  his immense knowledge of art to the Harwood. He is directly involved with curatorial duties as well as the administration of the organization. 

1) How do you see the museum’s role in the community at this time?

If I may I’m going to quote myself from our strategic plan document:

“The Harwood invests in the future of northern New Mexico. We are stewards of our region’s arts, the complex narrative of which was shaped over centuries by the confluence of Native American, Hispano, and Anglo cultures against the towering landscape of Taos, beneath what Frederic Remington described as “the great blue wall of the Sangre de Cristo range.”

The Harwood seeks to advance Taos arts, which embody the region’s artistic and cultural legacy—a living legacy to be shared with the Taos community and northern New Mexico.

2) The Future is Now – how will Tech affect the way we look at Art and History as the next generation comes of age?

The Harwood views itself in today’s world of global commerce, communication, and interdependence. At the intersection of art and technology, we have to chart our direction for the future across that dynamically shifting terrain. .

In a 2010 TED talk about the future and human creativity, arts educator Sir Kenneth Robinson, asserted that it is education that will take us into a future, but it’s a future that we can’t grasp—as he put it, “nobody has a clue what the world will look like in five years time.“ I agree.

I think we can only take note of how technology has already affected art and culture today—through social media, global commerce and communication—and constantly seek to ensure that, as cultural stewards, we make sure that the next generation will look at art and history—will find it meaningful for their lives.

3) As Taos grows and becomes more of a destination spot for younger artists to explore their creative journey, how do you envision their influence on our community?

We’ve no way of knowing whether or not Taos will become a destination for younger artists. But those young artists who will emerge in Taos, or who will choose it, they will help achieve what the Harwood seeks to do “at the intersection of art and technology:” namely, to bring Taos arts to the world and the world’s arts to the Taos community.

Artists are custodians of the present, and ambassadors to the future.


Thank you Dr. Tobin! For more about The Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, please visit their site linked below this post.

Harwood Museum

All images  thanks to  Janet Webb