Programs & Services

Celebrating the Life and Enduring Legacy of J. Paul Taylor

Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property

Taylor Home in Old Mesilla. Courtesy: NM Historic Sites

The annals of New Mexico history are filled with the stories of people who have contributed to their communities, their tribes, their governments, and our culture. Few stories can compare in sheer volume to the near century of service, involvement, vision, and leadership exhibited by J. Paul Taylor. A long-time educator in Las Cruces Public Schools, Taylor served nine consecutive terms as a representative in the New Mexico Legislature, and on numerous nonprofit and organizational boards, including the Museum of New Mexico Board of Regents. Taylor has received awards and accolades too numerous to mention.

The son of a native Texan dairy owner in El Paso and a mother who traced her New Mexican roots back to Coronado, Mr. Taylor’s intellect, commitment, work ethic, warmth, and charm have been exceptional assets in many New Mexico arenas for decades.

Mr. Taylor celebrated his 99th birthday at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces last August. The birthday celebration, which honors Mr. Taylor as a friend, benefactor and civic leader, is sponsored annually by the Friends of the Taylor Family Monument, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and New Mexico Historic Sites.

In 2003, Taylor and his late wife, Mary Daniels Taylor, and their family generously bequeathed their historic adobe home and two adjoining stores to the Museum of New Mexico as a historic site. Their collections of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and New Mexican artwork, along with furniture, rugs, pottery, and textiles from all over the world, were included in the donation.

The Taylor-Barela-Reynolds-Mesilla Historic Site, as it is called, provides an exceptional setting for visitors to understand and appreciate the history, culture, and architecture of Mesilla and the Southwest borderlands. Generations of New Mexicans and visitors from all over the world will experience New Mexico through its lens.

The Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property is one of nine Historic Sites managed by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. It is open to the public by appointment only. A limited number of group and school tours can be arranged by calling 575-202-1638.

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

Here, Now and Always

Here, Now, and Always is a major exhibition based on eight years of collaboration among Native American elders,
more »

Community through Making From Peru to New Mexico

Community through Making brings together local and Peruvian artists to explore how art shapes healthy and vibrant
more »

New Mexico Colonial Home - Circa 1815

The Spanish colonial home (la casa) gives visitors an idea of what a home from the time around 1815 would have looked
more »

Picturing Passion: Artists Interpret the Penitente Brotherhood

One regional community that captured the attention and imaginations of artists were the Penitent Brotherhood, Picturing
more »