New Mexico History Museum

Free Friday Evenings Are Changing from Weekly to Monthly

October 08, 2013


Starting Nov. 1, the New Mexico History Museum’s Free Friday Evenings will switch from every Friday to the first Friday of each month through April. Admission will be free from 5 to 8 pm for everyone on those evenings, and we’ll spice them up with casual staff-led gallery talks about special items in our long-term collections.

Meet up with friends, learn a little something, then head onto dinner with the money you saved. The talks will be repeated at 5:30 and 6:30 each evening.

Free Friday Evenings will resume their traditional weekly schedule May through October 2014.

What’s up for the Free First Friday Gallery Talks:

Nov. 1, 2013, “Ernie Pyle’s Final Words,” by Tom Leech, curator of the Palace Press

When Ernie Pyle, an American correspondent in World War II, was killed by a sniper on the island of Ie Shima in April 1945, he had in his pocket the draft of a dispatch containing his deepest thoughts about the end of the war in Europe—a war he covered side by side with GIs during 2½ years of bitter combat. Palace Press Curator Tom Leech will reveal more of the surprising story of that dispatch, now on display in Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now,and his project to recreate the column in booklet form.

Dec. 6, 2013, “Toys Were Us: Historic Playthings,” by Educator Melanie LaBorwit

The history of toys reflects the history of our cultures. How does childhood compare over the course of 500 years? Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now includes toys used by children in New Mexico’s historic forts. Educator Melanie LaBorwit helps us imagine the lives once lived as seen through these toys and how they compare to the iconic toys of today.

Jan. 3, 2014, “Postcards from the Past: Fred Harvey’s Southwest,” by Curator Meredith Davidson

In 1904, Fred Harvey’s eating-house empire joined forces with the Detroit Publishing Company to create hundreds of postcards depicting scenes from the Southwest. With a penny for postage, travelers could send tinted images of the Southwest’s landscape or Native Americans anywhere in the country. The postcards taught America who we are and today are treasured keepsakes – a story told in Telling New Mexico. Meredith Davidson, curator of 19th- and 20th-century Southwest collections, talks about the postcards’ evolution and inspires visitors to consider messages they’d like to put forth in the new year.

Feb. 7, 2014, “Flavored with Chocolate: A Spanish Colonial Tradition,” by Curator Josef Díaz

An intimate gallery discussion of the chocolate accoutrements on display in Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now. How do the items fit into the broader Spanish colonial world? How was a new-world delicacy quickly hybridized between Spanish and Native cultures? Learn more about the historical use of chocolate in colonial New Mexico, including its role in the reconquest of Santa Fe, from Josef Díaz, curator of Southwest and Mexican Colonial art and history collections.

March 7, 2014, “Feasting at the Colonial Palace: History with Dirt on It,” by History Museum Director Frances Levine

Archaeological excavations provide a glimpse of life’s little details seldom recorded in official documents. The bits of bone and burned-plant remains that archaeologists recovered from excavations behind and under the Palace of the Governors show us what kinds of foods people ate over the centuries. Bones and pot sherds tell us how foods were prepared and served. Even the tiniest pottery fragments reveal the networks of trade between Spanish colonists and Pueblo peoples. Museum Director Frances Levine takes you on a culinary tour of the Palace.

April 4, 2014, “Maria Ignacia Jaramillo: A Tale of Two Coats,” by Collections and Education Manager René Harris

Born in Mexican-era Taos, María Ignacia Jaramillo de Bent saw the opening of the Santa Fe Trail and the arrival of traders and trappers from the United States. She married Charles Bent, the first U.S. territorial governor of New Mexico; her younger sister, Josefa Jaramillo, married Kit Carson. Maria Ignacia and her children survived the murder of her husband and brother during the 1847 Taos Rebellion. Learn more about her and the turbulent times she lived in from Collections and Education Manager René Harris, who focuses on the dolman jacket and lovely mantón de Manila on display in Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now as testaments to a woman with feet in two cultures.   

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