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Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001
Voice: 505-277-4405

Reflecting a broad mission that encompasses the entire history of humankind, the museum's collections are worldwide in scope, with extensive holdings from throughout North, South, and Central America, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. With its primary emphasis on the Southwest, the Maxwell is world-renowned for its holdings from this region. The Maxwell offers to visitors an opportunity to experience the richness of human life ways in all their diverse expressions, providing a setting for both education and enjoyment unique in New Mexico.

The Maxwell Museum was founded in 1932 as the Museum of Anthropology of the University of New Mexico, becoming the first public museum in Albuquerque. In 1972 it was renamed the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in honor of philanthropists Dorothy and Gilbert Maxwell, whose donation of funds made possible a major expansion of the museum that same year. In 1973 the Maxwell Museum was awarded its first accreditation from the American Association of Museums and was re-accredited in 1985 and in 1997.

The mission of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology is to increase knowledge and understanding of the human cultural experience across space and time. The museum serves this mission by collecting, maintaining, researching, and interpreting anthropological materials. The mission statement is based on recognition that material objects, as manifestations of the practical and symbolic lives of human groups, represent a tangible and irreplaceable source of information for the study of human behavior. The museum supports and complements the University's functions of education and research, and, in addition, provides educational opportunities to the public outside of the University community.



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