New Mexico Museum of Art

Holiday Open House at the New Mexico Museum of Art

December 09, 2019


Gustave Baumann, a Santa Fe Legend, was an artist of many trades. His work included printmaking, painting, and marionette-making. Baumann hand-carved and decorated wooden puppets called marionettes and brought them to life in live performances. Some characters were tall and skinny, others were short and stout, some were animals and some were humans, but all had a personality and story of their own. He created a traveling marionette theater complete with scripts, costumes, props, backdrops, scenery, and a stage. Over a twenty-year period, he created nearly 100 marionettes; however, he was not a puppeteer. He left the actual performances to his wife Jane and Teatro Duende. In 1932 the Baumann Marionette Christmas Show at the New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMoA) became a cherished community tradition.

On Sunday, December 22, 2019, from noon to 4p p.m., join us as we continue the community tradition at the NoMA’s Annual Holiday Open House. Teatro Duende 2019 presents a “Holiday Dance-Off Party for Papa Gus” with replicas of the historic marionettes. Plays are 30 minutes, showing at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the historic St. Francis Auditorium. Directed by Barbara Hatch, Teatro Duende 2019 performances are by Danielle Reddick as Santa and Santo Niño, Melissa Heiman as Rosina, Liam Benjamin Merkle as Juan, Vaughn Irving as Miguelito, and Susie Perkins as Warts the Duende.

Kids are allowed to sit close to the stage for an up-close experience with the magical Santo Nino, Santa Claus, Juan & Rosina, Miguelito the burro, and of course, Warts, the rascally duende with a heart of gold. A gallery “treasure hunt” will find Freckles, Wart’s twin brother, hiding in the museum. Enjoy the Baumann Santa Claus marionette who, in a reversal of tradition, sits on your lap for a Selfie with Santa. Create a take-home puppet character with the help of Roni Rohr and her elves. Holiday music fills the air with the sounds of Sangre de Cristo Chorale beginning at 2 p.m. and refreshments are served.

This event is free and fun for all ages.


About the New Mexico Museum of Art

The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Museum of New Mexico Board of Regents. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its generous donors.

Founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Art has been presenting innovative arts programming in downtown Santa Fe for more than a century.  At its founding, the museum collected and exhibited artworks by noted artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide array of exhibitions and a significant collection featuring work from the world’s leading artists. Today, as at its founding, the Museum of Art strives to bring the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico. Museum exhibitions and programs are supported by donors to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation Exhibitions Development Fund and the Fund for Museum Education. 

107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, just off the downtown Plaza in Santa Fe, NM 87501.   24 Hr. Recorded Message: (505) 476-5072; Front desk: (505) 476-5063 Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Events, news releases, and images about activities at New Mexico Museum of Art and other in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at

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Holiday Open House

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