Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Margarete Bagshaw: Breaking the Rules

December 30, 2012


(Santa Fe, NM December 1, 2011)—The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture will present a major retrospective spanning 20 years of the self-taught artist Margarete Bagshaw. Opening February 12, 2012,  Margarete Bagshaw: Breaking the Rules will feature more than 30 paintings (some on sculpted wood panels), bronze and clay as wall art and multi-colored ceramic vessels that demonstrate the breadth and multi-dimensionality of her work. The exhibition runs through December 30, 2012.

Bursting with color and activity Bagshaw’s canvases are vibrant combinations of precise shape, texture, translucent layering, and light. Her paintings range from small to quite large and have an abstract, Cubist quality steeped in spirituality – a connection to her Native heritage and to her artistic forbears.

One wonders if Bagshaw’s grandmother, Pablita Velarde, were alive today would she be painting like this? It’s through her mother, acclaimed artist Helen Hardin, that Bagshaw traces her creative lineage back to Velarde – a dynasty of independent women artists as renown for their art as they were for breaking the rules.

In a conversation with on March 11, 2011, Bagshaw described her work in relationship to Hardin and Velarde’s this way; “When I paint my own compositions, I can connect with their independence, strength and creativity. If I choose to reference something from their paintings in something of mine, as in my ‘Mother Line’ series, it is like hearing their message, but interpreting it my own way.”

Margarete Bagshaw, born in 1964, grew up surrounded by her mother and grandmother’s artwork and the presence of other well-known Native artists such as R.C. Gorman. Yet it wasn’t until the 1990s that she started her artistic journey. Art represented to Bagshaw a “very normal way of life,” one she was accustomed to when both her grandmother and mother were at home painting.

Bagshaw, like her grandmother and mother, has successfully leaped the boundaries of traditional Native art where women only make pottery. And, she, too resists being categorized as a Native artist. In an interview with Kate Nelson in the winter issue of El Palacio magazine she said; “I’m in a position where I don’t have to be labeled… I don’t have to call myself an Indian artist to sell my work, and I decided that it was more to my advantage not to label myself as a particular kind of artist, based solely on my genealogy… now I know that I can be part of something, part of that lineage, without being defined by it.”

In addition to the more than 30 works on view in the exhibition will be videos of her working in her studio shot by husband Dan McGuinness.

The exhibition opening is Sunday, February 12, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Exhibition Events:

Bagshaw’s opening day lecture, Women’s World, will be at 2:00 p.m. in the museum auditorium. The opening and lecture are free to New Mexico residents with ID, $9 out-of-state.

On Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2 p.m. the museum will present A Conversation with Margarete Bagshaw and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Museum Director Shelby Tisdale and Carolyn Kastner, associate curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, will talk with  Bagshaw and Smith about their artistic practice and the importance of mentoring. The conversation is held in conjunction with the exhibitions Margarete Bagshaw: Breaking the Rules and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: An American Modernist at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The event is free to Museum of New Mexico Foundation members, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum members and New Mexico residents.

For more information about the opening and lectures, the public may call 505-476-1269, check the museum’s website at or the museum’s Facebook page.

High resolution images may be downloaded from the Museum of New Mexico’s Media Center.

Media Contacts:

Shelby Tisdale, Museum Director and exhibition curator



Steve Cantrell, PR Manager




Located on Museum Hill™, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture shares the beautiful Milner Plaza with the Museum of International Folk Art.  Here, Now and Always, a major permanent exhibition at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, combines the voices of living Native Americans with ancient and contemporary artifacts and interactive multimedia to tell the complex stories of the Southwest.  The Buchsbaum Gallery displays ceramics from the region’s pueblos.  Five changing galleries present exhibits on subjects ranging from archaeological excavations to contemporary art.  In addition, an outdoor sculpture garden offers rotating exhibits of works by Native American sculptors.

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Information for the Public

Location:  The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is located on Museum Hill™, Camino Lejo off Old Santa Fe Trail.

Information: 505-476-1250 or visit

Days/Times: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the Museum is also open on Monday.

Admission: Adult single-museum admission is $6 for New Mexico residents, $9 for nonresidents; OR $15 for one-day pass to two museums of your choice (Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, and Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum) OR $20 four-day pass to the four museums listed above. Youth 16 and under, Foundation Members, and New Mexico Veterans with 50% or more disability always free

Sundays: New Mexico residents with ID are admitted FREE, Students with ID receive a $1 discount. Wednesdays: New Mexico resident seniors (60+) with ID are free.

Field Trips: There is no charge for educational groups attending the museum with their instructor and/or adult chaperones. Contact the Tours office by phone at (505) 476-1140 or (505) 476-1211 to arrange class/group visits to the Museum.




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