New Mexico Museum of Art

Back in the Saddle and Georgia O’Keeffe

January 24, 2013


New Mexico artists have incorporated horses in their Southwestern imagery since the 1880s. During the twentieth century, the horse became an icon of the region, reflecting its ethnic diversity and changing aesthetic styles. The 25 paintings, prints, and photographs in Back in the Saddle capture the changing spirit of Southwest art. The works are drawn from the New Mexico Museum of Art collection.

Artists in the exhibition include Gerald Cassidy, W. Herbert “Buck” Dunton, Betty Hahn, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., Barbara Latham, Eliot Porter, Olive Rush, Fritz Scholder, Joseph Henry Sharp, Theodore Van Soelen, and Walter Ufer. The Native American, Hispanic, and European American art on view reveals some of the fusions that have occurred across cultural divides.

John Torres-Nez from the Southwest Association of Indian Art and Joseph Traugott from the New Mexico Museum of Art selected the works displayed in Back in the Saddle. The extended labels they wrote contrast their different perspectives on the art of New Mexico. Torres-Nez interprets from his contemporary, Diné (Navajo) perspective, while Traugott comments from a mainstream art historical perspective. Together these comments provide lively commentary on these traditional works of New Mexico art.

Torres-Nez offers the wittiest comments accompanying E. Martin Hennings’s painting Winter Snow Scene with Horse and Wagon, which depicts a horse pulling a wagon in a blizzard. Torres-Nez comments:

Whose piñon/juniper woods these are I think I know.   

His house is in the Pueblo though;   

He will not hear me stopping here   

To watch my piñon baskets fill up with snow. 

Traugott simply notes, “Visually, the sensitive purple-gray hues of mountains in the background contrast strongly with the snowed-in fields.”

Sharing the Clarke Gallery with Back in the Saddle will be a selection of works by Georgia O’Keeffe, also from the museum’s collection. These paintings offer a look into the diversity of O’Keeffe’s images and styles. The landscapes in this exhibition range between New York and New Mexico landscapes.

Back in the Saddle and Georgia O’Keeffe open on Friday, February 8, 2013 from 5 to 8 p.m. and is free.

High-resolution images may be downloaded from the Museum of New Mexico Media Center here.

Media Contacts:

Joseph Traugott, Curator of 20th- Century Art



Steve Cantrell, Public Relations Manager





The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

About the New Mexico Museum of Art

The New Mexico Museum of Art was founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. Housed in a spectacular Pueblo Revival building designed by I. H. and William M. Rapp, it was based on their New Mexico building at the Panama-California Exposition (1915). The museum's architecture inaugurated what has come to be known as "Santa Fe Style." For nearly 100 years, the Museum has celebrated the diversity of the visual arts and the legacy of New Mexico as a cultural crossroads by collecting and exhibiting work by leading artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide array of exhibitions with work from the world’s leading artists. The New Mexico Museum of Art brings the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico.


Information for the Public

Location: Santa Fe’s Plaza at 107 West Palace Avenue.

Information:  505-476-5072 or visit

Days/Times: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Open Free on Fridays, 5:00-8:00 p.m.



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.

Related Photos

The Passing Storm, Navajo Country
Illustration - Scene of Cowboy Life (Rodeo)
Restless Model
White Hat, White Horse, White Guy
The Rail

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