Santa Fe, 4/5-4/17/2015

Part 3, Art and Museums

Santa Fe and New Mexico have long been an artist’s community. They come for the weather, the scenery, the quality of light and color and for the freedom to pursue their art as they wanted. Santa Fe recognized this early on and worked hard to attract artists.
They were successful. Today there are more than 250 art galleries in Santa Fe where art is sold. There are museums too, too many to list them all but here are some.
The New Mexico Museum of Art *
The New Mexico History Museum *
The Palace of the Governors *
The Museum of International Folk Art *
The Museum of Indian Art and Culture *
The Georgia O’Keefe Museum
The Institute of American Indian Arts
The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

And many more.

We have been to all of these at one time or another except for the last one. the museums with a * are part of the New Mexico State Museums. You can buy a pass that gets you into each one of them one time. Or you can become a Museum member and get into all of them as many times as you want in a year. Many of these are big enough and exhibits change so that more than one visit is helpful to absorb all they have to offer. And you get 10% off at the gift shop in every museum and at museum cafes.  

In 1912, the New Mexico Museum of Art was built in Santa Fe just off one corner of the Plaza. It was a modern building (for 1912) but it is built in a Pueblo/Spanish Revival style which is the preferred architectural style for Santa Fe. All buildings built after 1912 have to comply with this style model or the Territorial Style which was popular as New Mexico worked towards statehood. Every building built before 1912 is considered an historic building and has to be maintained as it was.

There is an interior courtyard. The building to the right is an auditorium. The posts, beams, corbels, lintels, vigas, scuppers, color and rounded shapes are all part of the style.

This piece was done with feathers, bark, moss and many other bits of more than 250 natural materials. We both thought of Suzie Schulze when we saw this and remembered how she incorporated natural materials in her work including the one we have in our coach.

This painting looks like spring going up toward Chimayo. The white blossoms on pear trees were everywhere. A blue door on your home is to insure good luck. Color is everywhere. No Santa Fe art visit would be complete without some Gustave Baumann, one of our favorite artists.

This is his 1918 original painting of Day of the Deer Dance. From this painting he would carve a wood block to make the final reverse image woodblock print.

The interior of the Art Museum follows and is an example of the architectural style.

The county court house and council room do too.

The wood work and fresco paintings are quite stunning

The New Mexico Museum of Art attracted many artists from the eastern US when it was opened because they had an opportunity to display their work without the judgmental east coast attitudes.  It is not surprising then that New Mexico became an early center of modern art.  Today’s exhibits showcase many of New Mexico’s most admired artists and photographers.
The New Mexico History Museum is relatively new but incorporates an amazing walk through time from the ancestral Puebloans through the wild west days and the push towards statehood and the days since.  We are seeing more of this type of museum layout done chronologically along a path that leads you through the story.
I’m going to stop here.  Google Blogger is up to it’s old tricks.  The rest of this just disappeared and appears to be unrecoverable.
I’ll start over on the rest of it.
More later.
Susan and Roger

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