cientos de años | hundreds of years
10 Landmark images
Telling New Mexico’s history through its art BY WOLF SCHNEIDER
New Mexico has a worldwide reputation as an art colony, what with Georgia O’Keeffe, Bruce Nauman, Agnes Sims, Fritz Scholder and Gerald Cassidy all calling it home at some point in their lives. It’s a place where the culturati came to paint Native Americans in the late 1800s and where even the image of the detonation of the first nuclear bomb can be considered “art.” So the show It’s About Time: 14,000 Years of Art in New Mexico, opening May 11 at the New Mexico Museum of Art for a two-year run, seems like a natural. Here, we trace the trajectory of New Mexico history through 10 of the 137 artworks in the exhibit.
SANTA COLETA/ST. COLETTE circa 1780-1820s
BY PEDRO ANTONIO FRESQUIS
The past is always present in New Mexico. With just 2.1 million residents in the fifth-largest state in the country (only Alaska, Texas, California, and Montana are geographically larger), New Mexico’s open country allows artifacts like arrowheads to be stumbled upon. This Clovis point dates back to prehistoric Paleo-Indian culture at the end of the last glacial age. Made of flint, agate or obsidian, the 3- to 4-inch long Clovis point was created by a human, most likely to hunt mammoths, said Joseph Traugott, curator of 20th century art at the New Mexico Museum of Art. What makes it art? “The extreme level of craft and the technology that is involved,” Traugott said. “After these objects were found in the context of the extinct animals, it raised a different understanding of how long humans have been living in New Mexico.”
CLOVIS POINT circa 13,650 to 12,800 years B.P.
GALLUP BLACK-ON-WHITE BOWL, CHETRO-KETL, CHACO CANYON, circa 1000-1125 C.E.
Pretty much everything about Chaco Canyon is shrouded in mystery. Located in northwestern New Mexico, Chaco is hard to get to even today, with miles of rough dirt road leading in. This national historical park contains possibly the most remarkable collection of Pueblo remains in all of the American Southwest. A pre-Columbian cultural and historical area, it was home to the Ancestral Puebloan people between A.D. 900 and 1150 (A.D. being the equivalent of C.E., or Common Era). Notable on this prehistoric pot is a complex design integrating painted positive shapes with unpainted negative areas.
THE NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF ART 107 West Palace Avenue
30 2012 Bienvenidos
In the 1700s, Spanish colonial art began emerging from the villages of Northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as Hispano artists created devotional artworks like this, which portray saints. They frequently made retablos, painted on flat wooden panels, and bultos — three-dimensional carvings. The tradition continues today, with many santeros participating in July’s Spanish Market in Santa Fe.
INTERIOR COURTYARD OF PUEBLO, SANTA CLARA, NM circa 1883
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BY CHARLES CRAIG
Back in the 1880s, the conventional wisdom was that Native American cultures were going to disappear. While fierce wars were being fought between soldiers
Bienvenidos 2012 Summer Guide to Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico