Luther Bean Museum

Located in Richardson Hall, on the second floor

Matthew Barbour shares information on the Adams State Luther Bean Museum Native American collection with Lucie Olivas and Tawney Becker. Barbour wears a red shirt and points to a display of potter behind glass as Olivas and Becker listen, standing to his left

Matthew Barbour, regional manager of Historic Sites New Mexico, shares information on Native American collection with Lucie Olivas, intern, and Tawney Becker, Luther Bean Museum collections manager.

The Adams State University Luther Bean Museum and Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center continue to improve, thanks in large part to the generous donation from the Emma and Henry Salazar family in 2016. Their gift to the institution provided scholarship money; funds to improve the museum, through the virtual Salazar Center; and paid for an Adams State student museum internship.

The first intern, Lucie Olivas, began working in the fall of 2016, and will finish her internship in the late summer of 2017. "This internship has been such a great experience for me."

She has researched San Juan Pueblo and Santa Clara Pueblo pottery, micaceous pots and retablos; photographed Native American pottery; completed inventory sheets on vessels for displays; designed three display cases (focusing on the San Juan/Ohkay Owingeh pottery, the 1930 pottery revival signature pots, and the Zia Pueblo); and assisted with cataloguing and accessioning objects into the collection. 

During the academic year, Olivas traveled to four museums including the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, the Southern Ute Museum in Ignacio, the Museum of Indian Arts & Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. At each place she met with curators, toured the facilities, and learned new techniques and museum processes.

"This journey has been of an intimate nature. It ties in with what I learned in my Chicano history class, art history, and other art classes I have taken while here at Adams State. For me it has been kind of like a puzzle, lots of pieces coming together that forms a beautiful journey in my life."

Visit Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center for more information.

William Moyers bronze and Head display case

Luther Bean Museum Mission Statement:

"In partnership with the university and valley communities, the Luther Bean Museum seeks to preserve, enhance, and promote the study of the diverse culture and history of the San Luis Valley and Adams State."

sculptures and paintings by william moyers

Luther Bean Museum Collection:

The museum's permanent collections represent largely regional and local arts and historical objects. On view are: Native American pottery; paintings and works on paper by Stephen Quiller, Woody Crumbo and William Moyers; bronzes by William Moyers (1939 ASU Alumnus); a bronze by Allan Houser; a small oil painting by Joseph Henry Sharp; and a display on Major Lafayette Head, Colorado's first lieutenant governor, U.S. Indian agent, and early settler of Conejos County.

furniture from Woodard collection

Beryl and Charles Woodard

Patrons of Adams State, Beryl and Charles Woodard donated furniture, porcelain, decorative arts, and Asian ivory and stone carvings from their estate that have enriched and broadened the collections.

A display of items featuring former Colorado Governor and Adams State University's founder William H. "Billy" Adams is also on view.

two display cases with santos and retablos from region mostly dating from 19 century

Retablos and Bultos Display

The upper level of the museum includes a collection of retablos and bultos from the northern Rio Grande region.

image taken at slant with three display cases each with three shelves containing pottery mostly from san juan pueblo

San Juan/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo and Zia Pueblo

Pictured on left, San Juan / Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, potters from the 1930 San Juan Pottery Revival, and, on right, two pots from the Zia Pueblo