Rachel de W. Wixom, President, Executive Director Rachel’s extensive experience includes ten years as Head of Publications of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Editor and Production Director, teNeues Publishing Company. She is a graduate of Wells College and has a Goethe-Institut Zertifikat, German as a Foreign Language.
Bruce Bernstein, PhD, Director of Innovation & Senior Curator
Bruce develops the Coe Center public programming, working directly with Indigenous artists and the permanent collection of traditional arts. His previous positions include Assistant Director for Collections and Research at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution; Chief Curator and Director of Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Laboratory of Anthropology; and Executive Director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He has dedicated his three decades of work in museums to collaborative work and modeling new partnerships.
Bess Murphy, PhD, Curator
Bess assists in developing and coordinating public programs including workshops, conversations, research visits and demonstrations with Native American artists from across New Mexico and beyond. She also runs the Coe’s Hands-On Student Curators Program, now in its fifth year. She has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Southern California and was the co-founder and curator of the A.D. Collective in Santa Fe, an artist-run alternative exhibition space and community.
Samantha Tracy (Diné), Collections Manager
Samantha Tracy is Diné from Fort Defiance, Arizona, and is a recent graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), where she received a BFA in Museum Studies. Samantha was a 2018-2019 Anne Ray Intern for the School for Advanced Research, and currently is a 2018-2019 Native Arts and Culture Mentor Apprentice Fellow. Samantha has previously worked with collections at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) and the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, and has also worked with fine art packaging at Astilli Fine Art Services. Her interest in collection management is ensuring the preservation and protection of objects through proper care and handling. She is also interested in collaborating with Indigenous communities for representation within museum collections.
Board of Directors
Board Chair: Ben Allison
Managing Partner, Bardacke Allison LLP
Ben was selected as a 2015 Benchmark Litigation star in New Mexico for his commercial and intellectual property litigation results. Ben is lead counsel for the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd and is a regularly invited nationwide speaker on intellectual property and trial issues. He is admitted to practice law in New Mexico and New York, where he began his career at Dewey Ballantine LLP after serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Ben and his wife Newlyn have four daughters and one son. In his spare time, Ben enjoys running with Newlyn, cooking, and occasionally serving as piano accompanist for their daughters.
Director: Vanessa Elmore (Colombian-American)
Vanessa is a professional art appraiser, specializing in Art of the Americas, and has been in the art industry for over twenty years. Based in Santa Fe, she has handled countless numbers of arts objects, spanning from pre-historic to contemporary cultures. She had a long friendship and professional relationship with the founder, Ted Coe and his family, and therefore supports the Coe Center wholeheartedly.
Director: Kenneth Johnson (Musogee/Seminole)
Kenneth is a contemporary Native American designer and metalsmith with a career spanning over two decades. His career achievements include a one man show at the Creek Council House Museum, the 2005 Santa Fe Indian Market’s “Most Creative Use Of Stampwork” Standards Jewelry award, the 1999 Smithsonian Museum/NMAI’s Artist-in-Residence and a 1997 Santa Fe Indian Market Artist Fellowship, among others. His professional service includes teaching jewelry workshops for the Creek Council House Museum, SWAIA board of directors Co-chair; and Council of Artists chair where he represented the interests of over 1000 artists to that board.
Director: William (Will) Wilson (Diné)
Will is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at the University of New Mexico and Oberlin College. Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Oberlin College, and the University of Arizona. Wilson managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation. Wilson is part of the Science and Arts Research Collaborative and has had numerous exhibitions and artist residencies.
Director and President: Rachel de W. Wixom
Rachel is the President and Executive Director of the Coe, having led the development of the current center from idea to reality. Her extensive experience includes ten years as Head of Publications of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Editor and Production Director, teNeues Publishing Company. She is a graduate of Wells College and has a Goethe-Institut Zertifikat, German as a Foreign Language.
Honorary Board of Directors
John A. Berkenfeld
Ralph T. Coe, in Memoriam
Patricia M. Newman
Gerald G. Stiebel
Eugene V. Thaw, in Memoriam