Linda Durham is the founder and President of Linda Durham Contemporary Art (formerly Linda Durham Gallery) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For over thirty years, Durham operated a gallery that concentrated on representing (and presenting, to the greater art world audience) the painting, sculpture and video work of New Mexico-based artists. The gallery participated in numerous International Art Exhibitions and fairs including events in Edinburgh, Cologne, Madrid and Toronto as well as scores of art expositions in this country (Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Miami).

Linda Durham in "Trappings," 2005. ©Ludwig & Piechocki

Durham has lectured widely on contemporary art issues, entrepreneurship, studio life and goal setting at numerous institutions across the country including: Ohio Wesleyan University, Yale University School of Business and Management, Brigham Young University, Sundance and the University of New Mexico. For the past twelve years she has designed and presented workshops for artists and art professionals. As an adjunct professor, she taught “Contemporary Art Gallery Issues” at the Santa Fe Community College and Issues in Contemporary Art at Santa Fe Community College.

After the close of Linda Durham Contemporary Art in 2011, Durham created The Wonder Institute.  This informal institute mounts small, private art exhibitions, organizes cultural projects, and conducts salons for Artists and Women in Transition.  Among the projects created for the Institute are: World Wide Women of Wonder; The Museum of Nothing in Particular; The Postcard Project; Arroyo Roger (an environmental character); The Seeds of Peace Project, and a literary essay contest. 

Durham is an inveterate traveler, wonderer, and risk-taker.  She has spent time in remote (and “dangerous”) parts of the world—including Myanmar, Haiti, Turkey, Kenya (where she summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro), and Bolivia.  When Durham turned seventy, she went around the world in seventy days---planting seeds of peace.  This and other major life events are chronicled in a memoir which will be published in the fall of 2019.  Most recently, Durham went to Russia (a solo journey) and took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok, where she gave away more than 150 small original artworks that she collected from her artist friends on Facebook.  A chronicle of that trip is now a small book.

Durham is a Human Rights activist, she has worked (non-violently) with the Code Pink organization on many domestic and international projects.  She was a member of a small delegation, hosted by an Iraqi Peace organization, that met and interviewed Iraqis during the war. She was part of an UNRWA delegation (United Nations Relief Works Agency) that traveled to Gaza to celebrate International Women’s Day with the women of Gaza.  Later, Durham was chosen to be a passenger on The Audacity of Hope, the U.S. Boat to Gaza that was part of an International Flotilla with the mission of delivering messages of peace to Gazans from people in the United States.




In the 50+ years Linda Durham has lived in Santa Fe, she's garnered many more than four words. So much has been said about her, in fact, that finding just four words to describe her is extremely difficult. And that's exactly what the Santa Fe Reporter  made a whole swath of those who've worked with her—her fellow gallery owners, her gallery's artists, her collaborators—do...on camera.

Linda Durham also performs One Woman Monologues. Her one-woman show, "MOBIUSTRIP," dealing with life, travels, truth, beauty and being a Playboy Bunny (one of the original New York Playboy Bunnies 1962-66) has been performed on stage and as a reading in venues in New Mexico and Texas.



"A Creative Life"

Santa Fe Reporter

cover story

March 2, 2011


"Santa Fe loses Linda Durham Contemporary Art–but not Linda Durham..."

What's Next for Linda Durham"


SantaFean Magazine

June, 2012


"When the flailing economy forced the closure of Linda Durham Contemporary Art in March 2011, Santa Fe lost one of its landmark galleries. Of course, no one felt the void like Linda Durham herself. “I was sad,” she says, her emphasis and tone making that one small word say everything.“After 33 years, working at it every day and building it . . .” 

Those who know Durham, from her many friends and clients to the dozens of New Mexico artists she’s nurtured over the years, realized she wasn’t about to retire. It was more a question of where next to direct her considerable supply of passion.


For more than thirty years, Linda Durham has helped shape the contemporary-art scene of Santa Fe through her gallery, in its various incarnations, and her numerous projects that meld art and advocacy. Although she closed the doors of her gallery in 2011, Durham continues to reinvent herself and her relationship to the arts. In this lively and provocative talk, Durham will share her reminiscences of the many New Mexico artists with whom she has worked over the years and her perspective on the ups and downs of the Santa Fe art market from the 1970s to today. Join us for thirty years in the creative life of a "Santa Fe Original." (Linda Durham Talk was on 5/10/13)

Co-sponsored by Friends of Contemporary Art + Photography and the New Mexico Museum of Art

ARTBEAT's podcast guest was Linda Durham, the former gallerist and current owner/director of the Wonder Institute,  back from traveling around the world planting Peace Prayers  -HAVE A LISTEN HERE-