Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

“Storytellers: Narrative Art and the West” Set to Open at MOA 

New Mexico Museum of Art

July 13, 2021


The traditions of storytelling in the Southwest can be traced back to ancient times and to the Indigenous populations of the region. The West holds a special place in the American imagination, providing a canvas to express the country’s hopes, fears, and aspirations. These stories include everyday life, agriculture, ecology, celebrations, grief, and local history, all of which are detailed in a new exhibition opening at the New Mexico Museum of Art (MOA) on July 17.

“Storytellers: Narrative Art and the West” explores the various ways artists have told stories about the Southwest in their work. Narrative art tells a story. It can illustrate historic events or bring the imagination to life. It can be somber, humorous, didactic, ironic, and often entertaining.

“This exhibition takes a broad look at the way the artwork, most of which has come from the museum’s stellar collection, impacts how we understand our region and history through the stories we tell,” said curator Christian Waguespack. “These paintings, drawings, and sculpture move past illustration, they play an active role in shaping how we understand our history and culture.”

From illustrations of historic events, such as Diego Romero’s images of the Pueblo Revolt and paintings of local religious ceremonies like William Penhallow Henderson’s Holy Week in New Mexico, to ruminations on spiritual traditions as in Patrocinio Barela’s The Last Supper, the narratives of the West reflect various points of view to tell the story of this special place.

“Storytellers: Narrative Art and the West” will be on view through Feb. 13. 2022.


About The New Mexico Museum of Art   
The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its donors. The mission of the Museum of Art is to create authentic experiences that foster a deeper understanding and enjoyment of art throughout our state. With a collection of more than 20,000 pieces of work, the museum brings the art of the world to New Mexico and the art of New Mexico to the world. 


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