New Mexico Museum of Art

Treasures Seldom Seen

May 08, 2012


(Santa Fe, NM)—Treasures Seldom Seen rejoices in the representational paintings from the New Mexico Museum of Art collection that defined mainstream New Mexico Art almost a century ago. The exhibition will be ongoing in the museum’s Clark Gallery.

Landscapes by George Bellows, John Sloan, and Fremont Ellis, as well as portraits by Paul Berlin, Oscar Berninghaus, Victor Higgins, and Joseph Henry Sharp are featured. In addition, an alcove presents works by, and about, Georgia O’Keeffe and another introduces the museum’s Web site New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History.

Treasures Seldom Seen was assembled by Joseph Traugott, the museum’s curator of twentieth century art. Traugott commented, “these classic New Mexico paintings from the 1920s and 1930s present excellent examples of academic and anti-academic painting from the period.”

 “An important aspect of these works is the staging of portraits in the landscape, and incorporating indigenous architecture as part of landscape images. These crowd-pleasers express powerful responses by European American painters to the cultures and landscapes of the Southwest.”

Treasures Seldom Seen also presents a “contemporary” installation, the museum’s Web site New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History. This educational program was developed for public school students to help them learn New Mexico history through the art of New Mexico.

The website provides teachers with rich supplemental materials from the New Mexico Museum of Arts collection. The site includes more than 300 digital images of art objects with a history section providing context for the images and links to resources for further study. These materials were prepared with themes and topics matching the state’s educational standards and benchmarks.

This section of the exhibition displays works by Peter Hurd and Kenneth Chapman, but uses the webpage for each work to provide extended information. Visitors will be able to search New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History on a computer terminal in the gallery.

The Clarke Gallery is named for Jean and Robert L. Clarke, and emphasizes traditional works made before 1980.

Media Contacts:

Joseph Traugott, Curator of 20th Century Art



Steve Cantrell, PR Manager









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