the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Thomas Catron

Santa Fe

2012 recipient, Major Contributor to the Arts

Thomas B. Catron III of Santa Fe has made significant contributions to the cultural life of New Mexico through his support of the local museums and performing arts organizations.

Catron is recognized for his efforts to shape the state's reputation as a cultural hub and was the driving force behind the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the Santa Fe Opera board, and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art/Spanish Colonial Arts Society.

A third-generation New Mexican, the grandson of New Mexico's first U.S. Senator, Catron is president of the state's oldest law firm, Catron, Catron and Pottow. An avid opera lover, Catron was a founding director of the Santa Fe Opera, serving as board president and chairman for many years, and helped to establish the Santa Fe Opera Foundation.

Catron is a founder of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation (MNMF) and served on the board of trustees for over 25 years -- the foundation celebrates 50 years in 2012.

Catron also helped in the early launch of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, and serves as vice president. His work has inspired countless others to make philanthropic gifts in support of arts and culture in New Mexico. His vision has helped to steer important financial contributions and countless donations of art and historical artifacts to the state.

Catron worked with Will Shuster, one of the famed Cinco Pintores, to give work to the New Mexico Museum of Art. Catron also suggested that Alexander and Susan Girard, donate their 100,000-piece folk art collection to the Museum of International Folk Art, which now houses one of the largest folk art collections in the world.

Catron has supported arts and service nonprofits for over 60 years. He was named a Santa Fe Living Treasure in 2007.