New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art and New Mexico History Museum Collaborate on Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 19, 2021; Complimentary Admission to both museums all day 

December 14, 2021

Anne Wrinkle

SANTA FE, NM – Visit the Santa Fe Plaza on Sunday, December 19, at the height of the holiday season and enjoy a joint open house hosted by New Mexico History Museum (NMHM) and New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMOA). Both museums are following Covid-safe practices, and there will be activities, music, Baumann puppet entertainment, and, of course, art! Complimentary admission to both museums for this special day! These events are free and fun for all ages.  

Join NMHM to celebrate the holiday season with musical delights, and an opportunity to browse the History Museum’s Chavez Library and Photo Archives for visits throughout the day and weave through the history of New Mexico in their gallery exhibitions from 10 am – 5pm. The website will be updated with activities as they are confirmed. 

After a hiatus last year due to COVID, the NMMOA’s Annual Holiday Open House returns from 12 – 5 p.m. Visit the museum to enjoy a guest appearance from a very special Santa! The afternoon will also feature recorded performances of the Gustave Baumann marionettes from Christmas past and a chance to visit the Museum Library to view our collection of historic Christmas cards designed and printed by Baumann (aka Papa Gus!). Don’t miss a variety of special activities taking place from 12 – 5 p.m., and more details will be posted here once they are confirmed. 

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 NMMOA became a cherished community tradition. 

  • Selfies with Gustave Baumann’s Santa marionette will be available in the lobby at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Parents, have your camera ready for this photo opportunity. Get your picture taken with Santa on your lap! It’s a photo opportunity for children of all ages, led by actor Danielle Reddick.  

  • A recording of the 2019 performance of A Really Big Party for Papa Gus will run continuously in museum lobby. Teatro Duende presents a little skit by Gustave Baumann’s marionettes. Juan, Rosina and Miguelito try very hard to get ready for a party, but rascally Warts keeps causing trouble! Puppeteers: Danielle Reddick, Patrick Briggs, Melissa Heiman, Liam Benjamin Merkle, Camille Cooper and Susie Perkins. Directed by Barbara Hatch.  

  • A selection of handmade holiday cards by Santa Fe artists are on view in the museum’s archive and library. Drawn from the museum’s rich collection of ephemera, these holiday cards are rarely available for viewing, so don’t miss your chance to view these unique holiday greetings! 

  • Packets with self-guided activities will be available for pick up in the lobby. These activities promise an adventure through the museum and may contain some holiday sweets, too! 


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 

 About the New Mexico History MuseumThe New Mexico History Museum is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its generous donors. NMHM is a statewide educational resource, landmark, and destination for everyone who wants to understand the diverse experiences of the people of New Mexico, the dynamics that have shaped our state, and the relationships that connect our region with the rest of the world.  




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Holiday Open House

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