All Press Releases
New Mexico History Museum | Jul 29, 2015
A Palace renovation and potentially doomed trees. A great new photo exhibit and terrific interns. Enticing books on the craft of books and a glimpse of the Alvarado’s greatness. It’s all in the latest edition of the New Mexico History Museum’s newsletter. Click here to download a PDF of it.
New Mexico History Museum | Jul 23, 2015
The New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors hosts a month’s worth of vibrant events. Bring the family, bring your friends. Or just come by yourself. Besides great exhibits, you’ll find these special events ranging from a Civil War symposium to CreativeMornings event, music-based lectures, the Native Cinema Showcase and more.
New Mexico History Museum | Jul 9, 2015
Workers are getting ready to apply new stucco, repair roofs, improve heating and cooling, change the landscaping and more at the Palace of the Governors, a 400-year-old National Treasure in the heart of historic Santa Fe. Begun in 1609–1610 as the seat of Spain’s North American colony, the Pueblo Revival building became the flagship of the state’s museum system in 1909. In recent years, it has drawn preservationists’ fears, most critically because of its 1970s cement stucco on the interior courtyard’s wall.
Now, thanks to a $400,000 infusion from the Department of Cultural Affairs and another $680,000 from the state Legislature’s recent session, that water-trapping stucco will be stripped off and replaced with a breathable lime plaster. Stucco around the rest of the building will be patched up, workers will install new roofs above the Palace gift shop and Meem Community Room, and the Palace’s capricious heating-and-cooling system will be tied into the New Mexico History Museum’s more reliable one.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 23, 2015
From the making of a classic Western to stories of remarkable women, Harvey Houses, Southwestern cuisine and the Llano Estacado, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library’s Brainpower & Brownbags Lunch Lectures offer a wealth of learning. Organized by Librarian Tomas Jaehn, the monthly lectures are free and open to the public (and, yes, you can bring a lunch). Each lecture begins at noon in the Meem Community Room; enter through the museum’s Washington Avenue doors. Seating is limited.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 23, 2015
Start growing your collection of Native art at the Young Native Artists Show & Sale, July 4 and 5, in the Palace Courtyard from 9 am to 4 pm. Children and grandchildren of artists belonging to the Native American Artisans Program will show off their latest works of art, learn a few tricks of the customer-service trade, and potentially launch their careers. See the hand-crafted artwork, purchase refreshments, and strike up a conversation or two with artists who are growing and continuing to learn their craft. Admission is free through the Palace Courtyard’s Blue Gate on Lincoln Avenue, south of the New Mexico History Museum’s main entrance.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 10, 2015
Award-winning author and conservationist William deBuys speaks on and signs copies of his latest book and joins us for a reception honoring the museum’s acquisition of his papers. The Fray Angélico Chávez History Library hosts this free event on Friday, June 19, 5:30–7:30 pm, in the museum auditorium, with light refreshments in the lobby.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 4, 2015
At 2 pm on Saturday, June 20, see archival films from the Old Santa Fe Association’s new collection, including gems filmed by Ernest Knee, culled from residents’ garages and closets and boasting little-known cinematic glimpses of life in northern New Mexico. The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives is partnering with OSFA to preserve the films, prime artifacts in a city long devoted to protecting its historic authenticity. A free event.
New Mexico History Museum | Jun 2, 2015
One of the staples of desert life is the presence—or scarcity—of water. Its importance can be seen across eastern New Mexico, where the Pecos River strives to quench a fragile, 926-mile riparian environment. Along the Pecos, a collage of photographs and sounds, opens June 19 on the second floor of the New Mexico History Museum. Developed by photographer Jennifer Schlesinger and the late composer Steven M. Miller, the materials were recently donated to the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, whose Photo Legacy Project collects the work of contemporary photographers.
New Mexico History Museum | May 4, 2015
Take a weeklong trip to action-packed 1863 at the New Mexico History Museum’s summer camp, Time Trekkers. Children 9-11 will enjoy VIP access to the museum and get daily doses of hands-on learning—braiding horsehair bracelets, gathering a picnic lunch at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, practicing calligraphy, roping a calf dummy, hand-stitching their own book, playing old-time games and more. The camp takes place 10 am–4 pm, Monday–Friday, June 15–19. Cost is $125 (10 percent discount to children and grandchildren of Museum of New Mexico Foundation members). Space is limited. For info on how to register by June 1, contact René Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or Melanie LaBorwit at email@example.com.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 21, 2015
The 1990 release of The Civil War, a nine-part documentary, not only brought new attention to our nation’s greatest crisis, but also revolutionized the art form. Film editor and post-production supervisor Paul Barnes worked hand-in-hand with Ken Burns on the series, which earned numerous awards. The two have since made other landmark documentaries.
On Friday, May 8, at 6 pm, Barnes will show re-cut clips from The Civil War to detail their experience and describe how they remastered the series in high definition for a 25th-anniversary airing on PBS stations this September. Barnes will speak at the historic Lensic Performing Arts Center, which is graciously partnering with the museum on this event. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10. The presentation is part of the programming series for the History Museum exhibit, Fading Memories: Echoes of the Civil War, opening May 1, in collaboration with the Santa Fe Opera’s debut of Cold Mountain this August.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 16, 2015
From the Civil War to the Gila River, Harvey Girls and more, there’s something for everyone this month. Most events are free with admission. Sundays are free to NM residents; children 16 and under free daily. May 1: Opening of Fading Memories: Echoes of the Civil War. May 3: Decorate the Divine, a family art-making event. May 6: A Brainpower & Brownbags lecture on the Gila Bioregion. May 8: Revisiting The Civil War, the Ken Burns’ classic documentary. May 23: Harvey Girls Day. May 31: A performance by Schola Cantorum and a panel discussion on restoring the 1785 Roque Lobato House.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 1, 2015
Hot off the interwebs, it’s all the latest news from the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Discover a flag that saw action at the Civil War’s Battle of Glorieta Pass. Take a slow ride on a horse-drawn hearse. Dance! All that and more. Click here to download a PDF.
New Mexico History Museum | Apr 1, 2015
Civil War battles raged across America’s northern and southern states as Texas Confederates launched a plot: Head north and west through the New Mexico Territory with hopes of seizing California’s goldfields and sea ports. In 1862, battles erupted in Mesilla, Valverde, and Glorieta. Confederate forces briefly occupied the Palace of the Governors. Despite such victories, breaks in supply chains forced the Texans to retreat. In the History Museum’s Mezzanine Gallery, May 1 through Feb. 26, 2016, three curators join forces for the exhibition, Fading Memories: Echoes of the Civil War. Photo Curator Daniel Kosharek, 19th- and 20th-Century Southwest Collections Curator Meredith Davidson, and Palace Press Curator Thomas Leech approach the subject from different angles and invite visitors to consider the possible meanings behind the fragments of memories on exhibit and how a long-gone war still defines us as Americans.
New Mexico History Museum | Mar 17, 2015
Take part in the debut of CreativeMornings’ latest chapter. Learn more about the Santuario de Chimayo, Fred Harvey artisans, and pinhole photography. Plus: It’s the annual return of the Historical Downtown Walking Tours, Monday through Saturday, April 13 through Oct. 17.
New Mexico History Museum | Mar 14, 2015
In an age when every cell phone can take a respectable picture, cameras as low-tech as an oatmeal box still beguile a legion of practitioners, both artistic and documentarian. With roots in the ancient discovery of the camera obscura, pinhole photography has enchanted artists from the 1880s through today. Opening April 27 (through January 10, 2016), Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, in the Herzstein Gallery of the New Mexico History Museum, explores a historical art form that exemplifies thoroughly contemporary ideals: Do-it-yourself handmade technology with a dash of steampunk style.
Nearly 225 photographs and 40 cameras show how a light-tight box pierced by a hole and holding a piece of old-school film can reveal alternate versions of reality. At heart, photography is a method of capturing the way that light plays upon objects, the seen and the unseen—a visual form of poetry that extends beyond a literal representation whenever pinhole cameras are involved.
Poetics of Light offers a premiere of original prints by photographers from around the world. Drawn from the holdings of the Pinhole Resource Collection, the body of work was amassed by co-curators Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer in San Lorenzo, in New Mexico’s Mimbres Valley. In 2012, seeking a permanent repository and impressed by the capabilities of the Photo Archives at the Palace of the Governors, the couple donated the collection—more than 6,000 photographs, 60 cameras and hundreds of books—to the New Mexico History Museum.
New Mexico History Museum | Mar 5, 2015
The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives has acquired a rare carte de visite depicting Ceran St. Vrain, Dick Wootton and José Maria Valdez. Photo Curator Daniel Kosharek obtained the ca. 1865 image from Cliff Mills, a photographer, collector and dealer who has sold his own and historical images on the Santa Fe Plaza for 20 years.
Carte de visites were an early phenomena of photography. Mounted on cardstock, they could be given to friends or guests. That ease helped create a Victorian craze—“cardomania.” This particular carte de visite represents the first original photograph that the Photo Archives has of St. Vrain, a legendary frontiersman, military leader and wheat magnate. The museum has one small original photograph of “Uncle Dick” Wootton, and none of Valdez.
New Mexico History Museum | Feb 24, 2015
New Mexico’s iconic adobe buildings reveal the colors of the earth—pearly white, sandy tan, cinnamon red, chocolate brown and shades in-between. We all love our turquoise skies, but when we build a home, the color of adobe surrounds us. One of the earliest and greenest building materials, adobe stretches back through millennia and around the globe. Like pottery, it reflects the maker’s identity, incorporating handprints and personal style.
An exemplar of adobe construction is the 400-year-old Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe. Its Spanish Pueblo Revival style carries elements of European, Mexican, American and Native American influence. Both a National Historic Landmark and, as of this year, a National Treasure, the Palace, like all adobe buildings, needs constant maintenance. A $1.5 million campaign is underway to raise the renovation money.
Throughout the Summer of Color, the museum will heighten visitors’ understanding of adobe, the historical importance of this building medium, and how the Palace plays into that story.
New Mexico History Museum | Feb 19, 2015
In war and in peacetime, in theaters of conflict and on the home front, U.S. women have participated in our nation’s defense. Until recent years, those contributions have failed to attract much notice. Even less understood: the contributions of African-American women, who had to fight just for the right to serve.
On Sunday, March 29, at 2 pm in the History Museum auditorium, see the New Mexico premiere of Sweet Georgia Brown: Impact, Courage, Sacrifice and Will, a documentary by Lawrence E. Walker of PureHistory Films. A celebration of National Women’s History Month, the event will include remarks by Walker; retired Army Brigadier Gen. Jack R. Fox, secretary of the state Department of Veterans’ Services; and Lt. Col. Pam Gaston, representing Women Veterans of New Mexico, a nonprofit organization providing support services.
The event is free with museum admission. Sundays are free to NM residents. Seating is limited, but you can make a reservation by calling (505) 476-5152.
New Mexico History Museum | Feb 17, 2015
March 6: "New Mexico Women’s Clubs: Civic Pioneers," a Free First Friday Evening talk by historian Pat Farr. March 11: "Black Pioneers on Route 66," a Brainpower & Brownbags lecture by National Park Service historian Frank Norris. March 15: 18th-century harpsichord music by Susan Patrick. March 29: Screening of Sweet Georgia Brown, a documentary about African-American women in World War II.
New Mexico History Museum | Jan 20, 2015
Bring the family Feb. 6, 5:30-7 pm, for a free Valentines craft event. Feb. 8, 2-4 pm, make a camera obscura (reservations required). On Feb. 15, 2-4 pm, pinhole photographer Donald Lawrence speaks in the auditorium and shows how to make camera obscuras in the courtyard. At noon on Feb. 18, John McAllister speaks on "Lozen, Apache Warrior Woman." There’s always something to do at the New Mexico History Museum.
New Mexico History Museum | Dec 15, 2014
From a belated card-making workshop on Jan. 2 to a Jan. 14 talk about made-in-New-Mexico movies to a Jan. 25 discussion about renovating classic Harvey Houses, the History Museum has you covered at the start of 2015.
New Mexico History Museum | Dec 2, 2014
Go behind-the-scenes for the making of our newest exhibit, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and its Legacy. Peek into the mystery of the sealed-shut trunk. Check out a very old map. It’s all in the latest issue of The Museum Times, a publication of the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Give it a read by clicking here (or log onto http://media.newmexicoculture.org/press_releases.php?action=detail&releaseID=347) then tap on "download PDF" at the bottom of the page.
New Mexico History Museum | Dec 2, 2014
Join us for a fun day of activities and be among the first to see this Mezzanine-area addition to the museum’s main exhibit, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now. Curated by Meredith Davidson, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy focuses on the rise of the Fred Harvey Company as a family business and events that transpired specifically in the Land of Enchantment, including the invention of the Harvey Girls in Raton. Among our opening events, the Winslow Harvey Girls host a trunk show of Harvey House china in our lobby. Also:
10 am, 11 am, noon and 4 pm, see The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, a 57-minute documentary, in the museum auditorium.
2 pm, gather in the auditorium for a conversation with curator Meredith Davidson, documentary producer Katrina Parks, and Stephen Fried, author of the acclaimed biography Appetite for America. Seating is limited. Doors open at 1:30 pm.
3–4 pm, refreshments in the lobby
Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents; children 16 and under free daily
New Mexico History Museum | Nov 14, 2014
Friday, Dec. 5, 6 pm, Free First Friday Gallery Talk: “Mapping New Mexico,” by Librarian Tomas Jaehn. Sunday, Dec. 7, opening of Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy, including a 2 pm conversation with curator Meredith Davidson, documentary producer Katrina Parks, and author Stephen Fried. Friday, Dec. 12, 5:30–8 pm, Christmas at the Palace. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13 and 14, 10 am–4 pm, Young Native Artists Holiday Show and Sale. Sunday, Dec. 14, 5:30–7 pm, Las Posadas. Wednesday, Dec. 17, noon, “Why Money is Better than Barter: Trade in 18th-Century Northern New Mexico,” a Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture by author and historian Linda Tigges. Thursday, Dec. 25, closed for Christmas.
New Mexico History Museum | Oct 21, 2014
From tattoos to Christmas cards to beer, we’ve got you covered. Sunday, Noveber. 2, see portions of the 2013 documentary Tattoo Nation and hear from Director Eric Schwartz in the History Museum auditorium.
Friday, November 7, come to the opening of Gustave Baumann and Friends: Artist Cards from Holidays Past.
Saturday, November 8, purchase art and craft supplies, handmade books and papers, ephemera, gifts and more at the Santa Fe Book Arts Group flea market.
Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16, make your own holiday cards.
Wednesday, Nov. 19, hear author John C. Stott talk about “New Mexico Beer—Now and Then."
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 30, 2014
Will Rogers noted that Fred Harvey “kept the West in food—and wives.” But the company’s Harvey Girls are by no means its only legacy. From the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway’s 1879 arrival in New Mexico to the 1970 demolition of Albuquerque’s Alvarado Hotel, the Fred Harvey name and its company’s influence have been felt across New Mexico, not to mention the American West. The company and its New Mexico establishments served as the stage on which people such as Mary Colter fashioned an “authentic” tourist experience through architecture and interior design, while Herman Schweizer helped drive the direction of Native American arts as an industry.
Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy, a new section that joins the New Mexico History Museum’s main exhibit, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, tells those stories and more. Opening Sunday, Dec. 7, Setting the Standard uses rarely seen artifacts from the museum’s collection, images from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives and loans from other museums and private collectors. Focusing on the rise of the Fred Harvey Company as a family business and events that transpired specifically in the Land of Enchantment, the tale will leave visitors with an understanding of how the Harvey experience resonates in our Southwest today.
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 26, 2014
Friday, Oct. 3, 6 pm, “Broken by Secrets: Robert Oppenheimer and the Early Atomic Age” Dr. Jon Hunner, interim director of the museum, explores the complicated life of the atomic bomb’s father—from his childhood through his scientific career to his involvement with governmental policies during the early Atomic Age.
Sunday, Oct. 5, 2 pm, Albuquerque Baroque Players Hear 17th- and 18th-century chamber music from Italy, Germany and France by MaryAnn Shore (oboe and recorder), Mary Bruesch (viola da gamba) and Susan Patrick (harpsichord).
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2–4 pm, “The Linguists: Saving Endangered Languages” What does it take to save a dying language? Join linguists Greg Anderson and K. David Harrison for a free screening of their 2008 film, The Linguists, followed by a Q&A.
Saturday, Oct. 11, last day for this year’s Historical Downtown Walking Tours Monday through Saturday, learn about the history of Santa Fe from a museum-trained.
Sunday, Oct. 12, 2 pm, “From Pinholes to Black Holes” Los Alamos National Laboratory astrophysicist Ed Fenimore talks in the auditorium about his pioneering work that uses the basic technology of a pinhole camera to see the distant reaches of space.
Saturday, Oct. 25, 9–4 pm, “Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care: A Day of Learning” A daylong workshop sponsored by the New Mexico History Museum and the acclaimed Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2–4 pm “Cameras from the Kitchen” Bring an empty coffee can, oatmeal box, potato chip can or shoebox (with lids) to make your own camera obscura .
Wednesday, Oct. 29, noon, “Fred Harvey, the Hotel Castañeda, and the Future of the Past in Railroad New Mexico” Stephen Fried, author of the best-selling biography Appetite for America, delivers a Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture in the Meem Community Room. Free.
New Mexico History Museum | Sep 22, 2014
Gamma-ray bursts may produce an extraordinary amount of light from the other side of the universe, but they occur so randomly that we don’t know where to look. We need a camera that can image the gamma-rays to locate them. Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists considered this high-tech problem and wondered whether a pinhole camera—the simplest tool of photography—might hold the answer. On Sunday, October 12, at 2 pm in the History Museum auditorium, astrophysicist Ed Fenimore talks about their solution: an array of 52,000 pinholes that is currently flying on the Swift satellite. His lecture, “From Pinholes to Black Holes,” is free with admission, and Sundays are free to NM residents.
Early in their research, LANL scientists developed a device with more than 20,000 pinholes that flew aboard the 1991 Space Shuttle. That coded array is currently on display in Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography, an exhibit in the museum’s Herzstein Gallery.