New Mexico History Museum

Palace Seen and Unseen explores Palace of the Governor's rich history

January 06, 2020


(Santa Fe, New Mexico) --- Palace Seen and Unseen, a new, long-term exhibit opening April 19, 2020, at the New Mexico History Museum, delves into more than 400 years of Palace of the Governors 400-year history. The guest curators who created the exhibit, Cordelia Snow and Stephen Post have a combined 85 years-experience working with the Palace’s architecture, history and archaeology.

The public opening for Palace Seen and Unseen is Sunday, April 19, from 12-4 p.m. at the Palace of the Governors and is sponsored by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Women’s Board. 

Palace Seen and Unseen delves into the history of the Palace of the Governors from 1609-present through its physical presence, documents and archaeological investigation. The exhibition explores the relationship between the building and its residents and visitors. Stories are told from the perspective of robberies, governors and people behind the scenes vividly bringing the adobe building and its grounds to life.

The use of photographs, maps, and excavated objects from the Palace and its grounds tell the story; visitors will learn how the Palace changed over the centuries, its various uses, and what its vast history might mean in the 21st century.

The guest curators’ archaeological experiences at the Palace are uniquely complimentary with Cordelia Snow working beneath the floors and Stephen Post working outside the walls of the building to unearth its mysteries. Two square yards of space anywhere within the Palace has the potential to provide more information about its past than almost any other historic place in the United States.

“The Palace’s adobe architecture provides us with a unique backdrop to tell its story," says Stephen Post. “Working with the Palace is always exciting because no matter where we work inside or outside, new discoveries will be made and old stories will be revised or renewed.”

“We are constantly reminded that archaeological study at the Palace always takes more time and yields a greater quantity and variety of artifacts, features, and new questions than were expected when this project first began,” Cordelia Snow commented. “Just when you think you might be getting a handle on the archaeology or history of the Palace, something new crops up.  Just as the puzzle always seems to be missing pieces, it grows even larger.”


About the New Mexico History Museum:

The New Mexico History Museum 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 

The campus of the New Mexico History Museum includes the Palace of the Governors, the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library, and Pete V. Domenici Building. The Palace of the Governors is noteworthy as the original seat of New Mexico government, the initial home for the Museum of New Mexico, and for its designation as a National Historic Landmark. The New Mexico History Museum presents exhibitions and public programs that acknowledge and reflect on New Mexico’s diverse heritage. Special features include the Palace Press, Native American Artisans Portal Program, and collections held by the Palace Photo Archive, and Chavez History Library The museum also serves as a center for education and historical research.

113 Lincoln Ave. in Santa Fe, NM 87501. (505) 476-5200. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April.  Events, news releases and images about activities at the History Museum and other divisions in the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at




Related Photos

19-NMHM-Puye Room looking into Pecos Room, Palace
19-NMHM- Edgar Lee Hewett in Palace Office
19-NHMH-Palace looking northeast
19-NMHM-Palace Seen Unseen - Palace of the Governors 1911
19-NMHM-Title: Unidentified man during restoration of the Palace of the Governors, 1912
19-NMHM-Palace- Rough Riders sworn in by Capt Charles L Cooper

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