New Mexico History Museum

History in the Watching

March 09, 2011


A colonial governor’s wife faces the Inquisition. A World War II kamikaze plane attacks the USS New Mexico. The New Mexico History Museum and PBS station KNME-TV will premiere eight documentaries featuring such scenes from its Moments in Time series at 2 pm, Sunday, March 20, in the History Museum Auditorium.

The event is free, but seating is limited. Attendees will be eligible for prizes including DVDs, CulturePasses, Museum of New Mexico Foundation memberships and more. 

The Moments in Time special airs on KNME-TV, Ch.5.1, on Wednesday, March 23, at 7 pm. The eight stories will include the following:

·         The Estancia Press                                                 

·         Fashioning New Mexico: Victorian Secrets   

·         New Mexico’s Rough Riders                  

·         The Last Hurdle:  El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro  

·         Tesoros de Devoción  (Santos & Santeros)

·         Buffalo Soldiers in New Mexico                    

·         In Her Own Voice - Doña Teresa Aguilera y Roche and Intrigue in the Palace of the Governors, 1659-1662              

·         USS New Mexico BB40: The Drinan Diary       

“There’s something special about seeing these pieces on the auditorium’s big screen with an audience full of fellow history buffs,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the museum. “Injecting a level of cinematic drama into how we tell about our history is an important way of reaching people’s hearts and minds.”

In July 2009, KNME and the History Museum won a $147,000 grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The grant underwrites production of 15 documentaries for broadcast on KNME, use inside the museum’s exhibits, and placements on both the museum’s and KNME’s web sites. The IMLS is a federal grant-making agency that supports the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

“KNME is proud to be collaborating with the New Mexico History Museum on a project which not only benefits visitors to the state and to the museum, but also exposes uniquely New Mexican stories to communities throughout the state,” said Polly Anderson, KNME-TV general manager and CEO.  “KNME has a tradition of cultural and historical story-telling through its series COLORES!, as well as individual specials. The stories in Moments of Time showcase the rich history of New Mexico.”

KNME’s Michael Kamins, an award-winning cinematographer, producer and executive producer who has worked at KNME for more than 20 years, has immersed himself in the state’s history, not only for the IMLS documentaries, but also for the variety of movies already showing in the museum’s main exhibition, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now. Those include a history of the Santa Fe Trail projected onto the canvas of a covered wagon; Setting the Stage, blending New Mexico landscapes with the words of noted authors; and pieces on Route 66, hippies and Tierra Amarilla firebrand Reies Lopez Tijerina.

“I am in awe of the History Museum and the staff,” Kamins said. “It is a wonderful partnership. There are so many great stories in New Mexico’s history that need to be told. One of my favorites is about Doña Teresa Aguilera y Roche, the wife of Santa Fe's colonial governor, Don Bernardo López de Mendizábal. She was arrested by the Inquisition on the account of secretly being Jewish and jailed in Mexico City. It is fascinating to learn about the politics behind her arrest and how she later won her freedom.”

Some of New Mexico’s top historians and performers contributed their talents to the Moments in Time productions, including actor Dean Stockwell; flamenco artist Maria Benitez; famed New Mexico santero José Ramon Lopez; Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, director the National Hispanic Cultural Center; historian and author Paul Hutton; and Torrance County historian Morrow Hall.

Phone number for publication: (505) 476-5200


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