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Nov 22, 2009
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Chasing History: The quest for art, artifacts and heritage
The Telling New Mexico Inaugural Lecture Series

New Mexico History Museum

The Telling New Mexico Inaugural Lecture Series kicks off at 1 pm on Sunday, Nov. 22, with a special reception followed by former Palace of the Governors Director Thomas E. Chávez, speaking on Chasing History: Quixotic Quests for Arts, Artifacts and Heritage.

Tickets cost $10. Until Nov. 20, subscribers to all five lectures in the series can get a reduced price of $40.

Chávez, a contributor to the book Telling New Mexico: A New History, and a former director of the Palace and of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, will draw on stories from his career and his forthcoming book for the lecture.

“Life working in the humanities and museums can sometimes feel like chasing windmills,” Chávez said. “History, the arts and culture are not political priorities – yet they can be a societal priority, because the benefits exceed our collective imagination. I plan to share some tales that, now, have become history.”

Chávez oversaw the Palace for 21 years, a period when the eventual New Mexico History Museum was conceived and when the state acquired the famed Segesser Hides. The hide paintings, which illustrate the 1720 Segesser expedition, were then in Swiss hands. Each of those “quests” involved a mixture of political intrigue, international diplomacy, business acumen and dogged work by volunteers and staff.

“My own career and those with whom I have had the pleasure of working are perfect cases in that sense of chasing windmills,” Chávez said. “This lecture will be fun, true and thought-provoking."

Prior to Chávez’s lecture, a 1 p.m. reception will honor Marianne O’Shaughnessy and her late husband, Michael O’Shaughnessy, who provided funding for the series. Also to be honored are Marta Weigle and Louise Stiver, editors of Telling New Mexico: A New History. To attend the reception, come to the John Gaw Meem Community Room via the museum’s Washington Avenue entrance.

The five-part Telling New Mexico Inaugural Lecture Series accompanies the book as well as the History Museum’s core exhibition, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now. The series will be held in the New Mexico History Museum Auditorium. Each lecture costs $10. For $100, participants will be named “event sponsors” and receive a paperback version of Telling New Mexico: A New History, autographed by the volume editors.

  To purchase tickets:

Go to http://www.museumfoundation.org/tellingnm until 4 pm the Friday before each lecture

Visit the Museum Shops in the Palace and the New Mexico History Museum.  

Other lectures in the series are at 2 p.m. on the following Sundays:

Jan. 31: Thomas Lark, curator of Expo New Mexico’s African-American Performing Arts Center, on the history of African-Americans in New Mexico; and the Rev. Landjur Abukusumo, president of the Blackdom Memorial Foundation, on the pioneers of the Blackdom community in Roswell. Special treat: The Afro-Gospel Praise Experience will perform a mixture of Afro-Latin rhythms and traditional gospel.

March 28: Gail Y. Okawa, professor of English at Youngstown State University in Ohio, on "Exile from Paradise, Internment in New Mexico: My Grandfather's Journey,” an exploration of Santa Fe’s World War II Japanese-American internment camp.

May 2: UNM History Professor Ferenc Szasz on New Mexico’s role in developing the atomic bomb.

Aug. 22: Jennifer Nez Denetdale, associate professor of history at Northern Arizona University, on "Din'e/Navajo Women: At the Intersection of Nation, Gender, and Tradition," part of her current book project recounting the stories of Navajo women.


For more information, contact the New Mexico History Museum at 505 476-5200

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