All Press Releases
New Mexico History Museum | Mar 14, 2015
In an age when every cell phone can take a respectable picture, cameras as low-tech as an oatmeal box still beguile a legion of practitioners, both artistic and documentarian. With roots in the ancient discovery of the camera obscura, pinhole photography has enchanted artists from the 1880s through today. Opening April 27 (through January 10, 2016), Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, in the Herzstein Gallery of the New Mexico History Museum, explores a historical art form that exemplifies thoroughly contemporary ideals: Do-it-yourself handmade technology with a dash of steampunk style.
Nearly 225 photographs and 40 cameras show how a light-tight box pierced by a hole and holding a piece of old-school film can reveal alternate versions of reality. At heart, photography is a method of capturing the way that light plays upon objects, the seen and the unseen—a visual form of poetry that extends beyond a literal representation whenever pinhole cameras are involved.
Poetics of Light offers a premiere of original prints by photographers from around the world. Drawn from the holdings of the Pinhole Resource Collection, the body of work was amassed by co-curators Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer in San Lorenzo, in New Mexico’s Mimbres Valley. In 2012, seeking a permanent repository and impressed by the capabilities of the Photo Archives at the Palace of the Governors, the couple donated the collection—more than 6,000 photographs, 60 cameras and hundreds of books—to the New Mexico History Museum.
New Mexico History Museum | Mar 5, 2015
The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives has acquired a rare carte de visite depicting Ceran St. Vrain, Dick Wootton and José Maria Valdez. Photo Curator Daniel Kosharek obtained the ca. 1865 image from Cliff Mills, a photographer, collector and dealer who has sold his own and historical images on the Santa Fe Plaza for 20 years.
Carte de visites were an early phenomena of photography. Mounted on cardstock, they could be given to friends or guests. That ease helped create a Victorian craze—“cardomania.” This particular carte de visite represents the first original photograph that the Photo Archives has of St. Vrain, a legendary frontiersman, military leader and wheat magnate. The museum has one small original photograph of “Uncle Dick” Wootton, and none of Valdez.
New Mexico History Museum | Feb 24, 2015
New Mexico’s iconic adobe buildings reveal the colors of the earth—pearly white, sandy tan, cinnamon red, chocolate brown and shades in-between. We all love our turquoise skies, but when we build a home, the color of adobe surrounds us. One of the earliest and greenest building materials, adobe stretches back through millennia and around the globe. Like pottery, it reflects the maker’s identity, incorporating handprints and personal style.
An exemplar of adobe construction is the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe. Its Spanish Pueblo Revival style carries elements of European, Mexican, American and Native American influence. Both a National Historic Landmark and, as of this year, a National Treasure, the Palace, like all adobe buildings, needs constant maintenance. A $1.5 million campaign is underway to raise the renovation money.
Throughout the Summer of Color, the museum will heighten visitors’ understanding of adobe, the historical importance of this building medium, and how the Palace plays into that story.
New Mexico History Museum | Feb 19, 2015
In war and in peacetime, in theaters of conflict and on the home front, U.S. women have participated in our nation’s defense. Until recent years, those contributions have failed to attract much notice. Even less understood: the contributions of African-American women, who had to fight just for the right to serve.
On Sunday, March 29, at 2 pm in the History Museum auditorium, see the New Mexico premiere of Sweet Georgia Brown: Impact, Courage, Sacrifice and Will, a documentary by Lawrence E. Walker of PureHistory Films. A celebration of National Women’s History Month, the event will include remarks by Walker; retired Army Brigadier Gen. Jack R. Fox, secretary of the state Department of Veterans’ Services; and Lt. Col. Pam Gaston, representing Women Veterans of New Mexico, a nonprofit organization providing support services.
The event is free with museum admission. Sundays are free to NM residents. Seating is limited, but you can make a reservation by calling (505) 476-5152.
New Mexico History Museum | Feb 17, 2015
March 6: "New Mexico Women’s Clubs: Civic Pioneers," a Free First Friday Evening talk by historian Pat Farr. March 11: "Black Pioneers on Route 66," a Brainpower & Brownbags lecture by National Park Service historian Frank Norris. March 15: 18th-century harpsichord music by Susan Patrick. March 29: Screening of Sweet Georgia Brown, a documentary about African-American women in World War II.
New Mexico History Museum | Jan 20, 2015
Bring the family Feb. 6, 5:30-7 pm, for a free Valentines craft event. Feb. 8, 2-4 pm, make a camera obscura (reservations required). On Feb. 15, 2-4 pm, pinhole photographer Donald Lawrence speaks in the auditorium and shows how to make camera obscuras in the courtyard. At noon on Feb. 18, John McAllister speaks on "Lozen, Apache Warrior Woman." There’s always something to do at the New Mexico History Museum.
New Mexico History Museum | Dec 15, 2014
From a belated card-making workshop on Jan. 2 to a Jan. 14 talk about made-in-New-Mexico movies to a Jan. 25 discussion about renovating classic Harvey Houses, the History Museum has you covered at the start of 2015.
New Mexico History Museum | Dec 2, 2014
Go behind-the-scenes for the making of our newest exhibit, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and its Legacy. Peek into the mystery of the sealed-shut trunk. Check out a very old map. It’s all in the latest issue of The Museum Times, a publication of the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Give it a read by clicking here (or log onto http://media.newmexicoculture.org/press_releases.php?action=detail&releaseID=347) then tap on "download PDF" at the bottom of the page.
New Mexico History Museum | Dec 2, 2014
Join us for a fun day of activities and be among the first to see this Mezzanine-area addition to the museum’s main exhibit, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now. Curated by Meredith Davidson, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy focuses on the rise of the Fred Harvey Company as a family business and events that transpired specifically in the Land of Enchantment, including the invention of the Harvey Girls in Raton. Among our opening events, the Winslow Harvey Girls host a trunk show of Harvey House china in our lobby. Also:
10 am, 11 am, noon and 4 pm, see The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, a 57-minute documentary, in the museum auditorium.
2 pm, gather in the auditorium for a conversation with curator Meredith Davidson, documentary producer Katrina Parks, and Stephen Fried, author of the acclaimed biography Appetite for America. Seating is limited. Doors open at 1:30 pm.
3–4 pm, refreshments in the lobby
Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents; children 16 and under free daily
New Mexico History Museum | Nov 14, 2014
Friday, Dec. 5, 6 pm, Free First Friday Gallery Talk: “Mapping New Mexico,” by Librarian Tomas Jaehn. Sunday, Dec. 7, opening of Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy, including a 2 pm conversation with curator Meredith Davidson, documentary producer Katrina Parks, and author Stephen Fried. Friday, Dec. 12, 5:30–8 pm, Christmas at the Palace. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13 and 14, 10 am–4 pm, Young Native Artists Holiday Show and Sale. Sunday, Dec. 14, 5:30–7 pm, Las Posadas. Wednesday, Dec. 17, noon, “Why Money is Better than Barter: Trade in 18th-Century Northern New Mexico,” a Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture by author and historian Linda Tigges. Thursday, Dec. 25, closed for Christmas.
New Mexico History Museum | Oct 21, 2014
From tattoos to Christmas cards to beer, we’ve got you covered. Sunday, Noveber. 2, see portions of the 2013 documentary Tattoo Nation and hear from Director Eric Schwartz in the History Museum auditorium.
Friday, November 7, come to the opening of Gustave Baumann and Friends: Artist Cards from Holidays Past.
Saturday, November 8, purchase art and craft supplies, handmade books and papers, ephemera, gifts and more at the Santa Fe Book Arts Group flea market.
Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16, make your own holiday cards.
Wednesday, Nov. 19, hear author John C. Stott talk about “New Mexico Beer—Now and Then."
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 30, 2014
Will Rogers noted that Fred Harvey “kept the West in food—and wives.” But the company’s Harvey Girls are by no means its only legacy. From the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway’s 1879 arrival in New Mexico to the 1970 demolition of Albuquerque’s Alvarado Hotel, the Fred Harvey name and its company’s influence have been felt across New Mexico, not to mention the American West. The company and its New Mexico establishments served as the stage on which people such as Mary Colter fashioned an “authentic” tourist experience through architecture and interior design, while Herman Schweizer helped drive the direction of Native American arts as an industry.
Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy, a new section that joins the New Mexico History Museum’s main exhibit, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, tells those stories and more. Opening Sunday, Dec. 7, Setting the Standard uses rarely seen artifacts from the museum’s collection, images from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives and loans from other museums and private collectors. Focusing on the rise of the Fred Harvey Company as a family business and events that transpired specifically in the Land of Enchantment, the tale will leave visitors with an understanding of how the Harvey experience resonates in our Southwest today.
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 26, 2014
Friday, Oct. 3, 6 pm, “Broken by Secrets: Robert Oppenheimer and the Early Atomic Age” Dr. Jon Hunner, interim director of the museum, explores the complicated life of the atomic bomb’s father—from his childhood through his scientific career to his involvement with governmental policies during the early Atomic Age.
Sunday, Oct. 5, 2 pm, Albuquerque Baroque Players Hear 17th- and 18th-century chamber music from Italy, Germany and France by MaryAnn Shore (oboe and recorder), Mary Bruesch (viola da gamba) and Susan Patrick (harpsichord).
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2–4 pm, “The Linguists: Saving Endangered Languages” What does it take to save a dying language? Join linguists Greg Anderson and K. David Harrison for a free screening of their 2008 film, The Linguists, followed by a Q&A.
Saturday, Oct. 11, last day for this year’s Historical Downtown Walking Tours Monday through Saturday, learn about the history of Santa Fe from a museum-trained.
Sunday, Oct. 12, 2 pm, “From Pinholes to Black Holes” Los Alamos National Laboratory astrophysicist Ed Fenimore talks in the auditorium about his pioneering work that uses the basic technology of a pinhole camera to see the distant reaches of space.
Saturday, Oct. 25, 9–4 pm, “Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care: A Day of Learning” A daylong workshop sponsored by the New Mexico History Museum and the acclaimed Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2–4 pm “Cameras from the Kitchen” Bring an empty coffee can, oatmeal box, potato chip can or shoebox (with lids) to make your own camera obscura .
Wednesday, Oct. 29, noon, “Fred Harvey, the Hotel Castañeda, and the Future of the Past in Railroad New Mexico” Stephen Fried, author of the best-selling biography Appetite for America, delivers a Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture in the Meem Community Room. Free.
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 22, 2014
Gamma-ray bursts may produce an extraordinary amount of light from the other side of the universe, but they occur so randomly that we don’t know where to look. We need a camera that can image the gamma-rays to locate them. Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists considered this high-tech problem and wondered whether a pinhole camera—the simplest tool of photography—might hold the answer. On Sunday, October 12, at 2 pm in the History Museum auditorium, astrophysicist Ed Fenimore talks about their solution: an array of 52,000 pinholes that is currently flying on the Swift satellite. His lecture, “From Pinholes to Black Holes,” is free with admission, and Sundays are free to NM residents.
Early in their research, LANL scientists developed a device with more than 20,000 pinholes that flew aboard the 1991 Space Shuttle. That coded array is currently on display in Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, an exhibit in the museum’s Herzstein Gallery.
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 8, 2014
From offering caregivers an hour of respite to discovering new wells of creativity, the acclaimed Alzheimer’s Poetry Project has spent the last decade developing techniques to reach people with memory illnesses through literature, performance, art and museum exhibits. Now you can learn these techniques from dynamic teachers with proven abilities to reach learners of all abilities. Join us on Saturday, October 25, from 9 am to 4 pm, when the New Mexico History Museum and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project present “Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care: A Day of Learning.”
The workshop will be held at the History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, on the Santa Fe Plaza. A registration fee of $35 includes a light breakfast and lunch. Continuing Education Units are available. To register, go to www.dementiaarts.com, or call (505) 577-2250. Seating is limited, so reserve a spot today.
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 3, 2014
In August 1940, talk of war swirled around Camp Luna near Las Vegas, N.M. The 1,800 men of New Mexico’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment gathered there to train one last time on home soil before heading to the Philippines. A photographer was there, capturing images of youth and dedication, young men unaware of the ordeals they soon would face.
On Sept. 16 through Oct. 12, the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives will mount a special exhibition at the Jean Cocteau Cinema featuring 10 of those images. The exhibit represents a collaboration between the theater and the New Mexico History Museum’s Palace of the Governors Photo Archives. Before Bataan: New Mexico’s 200th Coast Artillery is open for viewing between 1 and 8 pm daily. The Jean Cocteau is at 418 Montezuma Avenue, in the Santa Fe Railyard.
New Mexico History Museum | Aug 25, 2014
Learn from leading scholars on Spanish colonial devotional art, listen to Renaissance music and take a peek into La Conquistadora’s closet during the Painting the Divine Symposium: Mary in the New World. This free event, organized by Josef Díaz, curator of the exhibit, Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World, takes place Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 27–28, at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. No registration is required. Come for a little or take it all in. The talks will take place in the museum’s auditorium.
New Mexico History Museum | Aug 21, 2014
Santa Fe Community College and the New Mexico History Museum are bringing a national program for veterans to Santa Fe. Using the Great Books Foundation’s “Talking Service” program, the free four-week reading and discussion group uses literature to help veterans talk about their service and their experiences coming home. After Action: Talking Service for Veterans begins in the History Museum’s Meem Community Room on September 27 and runs four Saturdays, from 2–3:30 pm, through October 18. Space is limited. To register, call SFCC’s Continuing Education Department at 505-428-1676.
This partnership is supported by the New Mexico Humanities Council, which is mounting similar programs across the state.
New Mexico History Museum | Aug 4, 2014
Begun in 1609, the Palace of the Governors remains the nation’s oldest continuously occupied government building. But before and especially after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt and 1693 Reconquest, one of the most common complaints found in early descriptions of it came down to four important words: “In need of repair.” Over and over, the phrase crops up in the historical record. For the museum’s annual Santa Fe Fiesta Lecture, noted archaeologist Cordelia “Dedie” Thomas Snow pulls together the various descriptions of the Palace surrounding that phrase and, from them, imagines how the building looked and how Santa Feans lived.
“A Palace in Need of Repair: 1660-1720” is at 6 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the History Museum auditorium. Admission is $5 at the door; free to members of the Palace Guard, the museum’s friends’ group. (To join the Palace Guard, call the Museum of New Mexico Foundation at 982-6366, ext. 100.)
New Mexico History Museum | Aug 4, 2014
Hunting for cochineal red in the Segesser Hides. Did Sister Blandina create a miracle in the Photo Archives? Where did the town of Watrous get its name? Learn about that and more in the August-September 2014 issue of The Museum Times, a publication of the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Give it a read by clicking here (or log onto http://media.newmexicoculture.org/press_releases.php?action=detail&releaseID=328) then tap on "download PDF" at the bottom of the page.
New Mexico History Museum | Jul 22, 2014
Now landing in subscribers’ mailboxes, the September 2014 issue of True West magazine names the New Mexico History Museum as the nation’s best Western museum, “in recognition of their superior exhibitions and ability to reach all generations through their creativity in interpreting the West while fulfilling their institution’s mission.” The honor follows the announcement that the museum won a national Award of Merit for Leadership in History from the American Association of State and Local History for its 2013–14 exhibit, Cowboys Real and Imagined.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 24, 2014
From printing with a medieval-style to great music and the movie Tattoo Nation, the exhibit Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World (opening June 29) comes with a host of special events.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 23, 2014
Mix together experts on a legendary outlaw, a hotel magnate, and a Territorial governor, and top it with ice-cold beer. Those folks and more will speak in the second half of the 2014 Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture Series. Organized by Tomas Jaehn of the museum’s Fray Angélico Chávez History Library at the New Mexico History Museum, the monthly lectures are free and open to the public (and, yes, you can bring a lunch). Each lecture begins at noon in the Meem Community Room; enter through the museum’s Washington Avenue doors. Seating is limited.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 19, 2014
The American Association for State and Local History will bestow an Award of Merit for Leadership in History on the New Mexico History Museum in honor of the excellence achieved by Cowboys Real and Imagined. The award recognizes the 2013-2014 exhibition, its public programs, and the publication of Jack Thorp’s Songs of the Cowboys by the Press at the Palace of the Governors.
“The staff of the museum brought intelligence, inventiveness and a lot of hard work to Cowboys,” said interim Director Jon Hunner. “This award is shared by the entire staff, our generous donors and the many visitors who enjoyed our hospitality—especially the ones who `cowboyed up’ and practiced roping a dummy calf.”
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 6, 2014
Please note: Due to a private event in the History Museum, it will not be open for our usual Free Friday Night on June 6. The Palace of the Governors, however, will remain open for free from 5-8 pm. (Folks attending the Judy Chicago opening at the New Mexico Museum of Art who would like to tack on a visit to Donald Woodman’s exhibit at the History Museum will need to plan a return visit.) We apologize for the inconvenience.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 4, 2014
Learn about our upcoming exhibit, Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World. Meet an awesome volunteer. Sort through old newspaper photographs and find out just which wall almost fell down. It’s all in the June-July 2014 issue of The Museum Times, a publication of the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Give it a read by clicking here (or log onto http://media.newmexicoculture.org/press_releases.php?action=detail&releaseID=319) then tap on "download PDF" at the bottom of the page.
New Mexico History Museum | May 5, 2014
The New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors National Historic Landmark, a division of the state of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is seeking an exceptional individual to fill the position of director. (For more information about the museum, see http://nmhistorymuseum.org/.) The New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors explores the Southwestern experiences of the American story. We fulfill our mission through diverse collections, inspired exhibitions, engaging public programs, award-winning publications and collaborative partnerships.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 29, 2014
Outside of cowboy boots and a pony, what does pretty much every five year old want on their birthday? A party! And that’s just what the New Mexico History Museum is throwing on May 25. With the help of volunteers, visitors and community partners, we’ve accomplished great things since opening in 2009. How better to say “thanks” than to invite everyone over for old-time games, a tea party, hands-on activities and more.
The first treat: Through the generosity of La Fonda on the Plaza, the day is free to everyone.
Join us from 1–4 pm on Sunday, May 25, for “Come Out and Play,” a free birthday party and the debut of a new front-window installation, Toys and Games: A New Mexico Childhood, featuring dolls, toys, skates, sleds and more from the museum’s collections.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 24, 2014
An ecclesiastical wave of 1960s-era urban renewal inspired mission churches throughout the Americas to undergo drastic renovations and, all too often, cast off centuries-old artwork. Charles W. Collier, a cultural attaché to Bolivia, and his wife, Nina Perera Collier, began purchasing and obtaining pieces that eventually formed the backbone of the International Institute of Iberian Colonial Art, once based at their Los Luceros estate in northern New Mexico. In 2005, with the promised construction of spacious galleries and a state-of-the-art collections vault, the Institute donated 70 paintings and three sculptures to the then-unbuilt New Mexico History Museum. When Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World opens on June 29, 35 of these 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces will share one exhibition space for the first time ever.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 1, 2014
Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, opening April 27, includes a year’s worth of lectures and hands-on workshops. Remember when you made pinhole cameras from oatmeal boxes in grade school? Relive those days—and bring the family.