Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - Four Museums of NM


 

Santa Fe is a city of art galleries and museums. We spent a good deal of Tuesday and Wednesday visiting the four Museums of New Mexico that are in Santa Fe*. They are the Palace of the Governors, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Indian Arts and Crafts, and the Museum of International Folk Art.**  The Girard Exhibit at the MONM-MIFA was a delight and my favorite.
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*
In addition to those in Santa Fe, the Museum of New Mexico has five other units. There are located at Jemez Springs, Bernalillo, Fort Sumner, Lincoln, and Radium Springs.
**In 1999, a $5 pass entitled the holder to admission to the entire complex and could be purchased at any of the museums.


 

Museum of New Mexico
Palace of the Governors
105 W. Palace Ave., Santa Fe, NM

The Palace was built in 1610. After centuries as the seat of government under four flags, El Palacio, as it's often called, in 1913 became the main building of the Museum of New Mexico. Like the Santa Fe Plaza, the Palace is a National Historic Landmark..

Permanent collections include Tableware of the Southwest, Weapons: Spanish Colonial to 20th Century, Textiles: Victorian to 20th Century, Furniture of the Southwest, Fray Angelico Chavez Archives and Photo Archives, and Civil War in New Mexico .

For me, the photo history in the Fray Angelico Chavez Archives and Photo Archives was most interesting.

The red, white and blue signs say
"
Arts of Ancient America"

 




September 14, 1999

     

September 14, 1999
 

Museum of New Mexico
Museum of Fine Arts
107 W. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM

Just off the Plaza in Santa Fe is the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) which was created in 1917 to preserve and promote the art and artists of the Southwest. The MFA houses a collection of paintings, photography, sculpture, and works on paper which relate primarily to the American Southwest of the 20th century.

Collections include 20th Century Photographs, Georgia O'Keeffe Collection, Cinco Pintores, Museum Furniture Collection, Contemporary Artists - New Mexico & Regional, and Taos Masters Collection.

Of the four state and three private museums I visited, I found the MFA to be the least impressive. In fact, the next day I could remember only one work here, and that was a painting called something like "The Last Taco," which is a kind of cross between Dali's Last Supper and the one of the four dogs playing cards.

     

Museum of New Mexico
Museum of Indian Arts and Crafts
708 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, New Mexico

We were fortunate in having an awfully knowledgeable docent not only give us an introduction to the museum but actually give us a private tour of part of it.

The Museum of Indian Arts and Crafts focuses on the Apache, Navajo, and Pueblo peoples of the Southwest, with demonstrations and workshops by artisans. Several smaller rooms open off a central atrium. Of particular interest is "The Rio Grande World," which explains the story of civilization along the great river. Displays include clothing from as early as AD 550, Anasazi cookware, and detailed diagrams and dioramas of the people and pueblos.

Also housed here is an extensive pottery and basketry collection, plus early and contemporary photographs of Southwestern Native Americans.

 


September 14, 1999

   

September 15, 1999
 

Museum of New Mexico
Museum of International Folk Art
706 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Girard Exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art was one of the unexpected joys of my visit to New Mexico. It is a wonderland for children of all ages.

I'm standing beside one of 100s of displays of dolls and miniature figures in the Girard Collection. This collection contains 106,000 objects from more than a hundred countries. The Hispanic Heritage Wing houses the nation's most important collection of Spanish Colonial and Latino folk art.

   

Museum of New Mexico
Museum of Internatioal Folk Art
706 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) was established in 1953 as a unit of the Museum of New Mexico. has collections from six continents and more than 100 nations.

Displays include elaborate dioramas of 19th-century Europe, Chinese prints, Indian mandalas, toys from early 20th-century Germany, New Mexican quilts, Mexican masks, South American and African puppets, amulets, figurines, and ceremonial clothing.

 


September 15, 1999

     

Email: Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten