The Roswell Museum and Art Center was founded in 1935 through an agreement between the City of Roswell, Works Progress Administration (WPA), Federal Art Project (FAP), Chaves County Archaeological and Historical Society, and the Roswell Friends of Art. The Museum opened in 1937, deriving its initial support from the WPA as part of a Depression-era project to promote public art centers nationwide. When the WPA restructured in 1941, the City of Roswell assumed control of the Museum.
Today, the Roswell Museum and Art Center is among of handful of federal art centers that remain in operation, and has expanded into a 50,000 square foot facility that includes twelve galleries dedicated to the exhibition of art and history, the Patricia Lubben Bassett Art Education Center, and the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium. The Roswell Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is southern New Mexico’s preeminent museum, lauded for the quality of its exhibitions, programs, and collections.