Archive for the ‘Museums’ category

The New Mexico History Museum

April 16th, 2010
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Rather than telling visitors what ‘happened,’ the New Mexico History Museum presents a theatrical environment and the engaging stories of the many cultures that have called the Land of Enchantment home.

The New Mexico History Museum includes interactive multimedia displays, hands-on exhibits, and vivid stories of real New Mexicans. As a 96,000-square-foot extension of the 400 year-old Palace of the Governors – the oldest continually occupied government building in the US – the New Mexico History Museum anchors itself on the historic Santa Fe Plaza and offers a sampling of the people and the legends to be found throughout the state.  Modern history museums know that individual accounts are often their most treasured artifacts.

With stories from and about New Mexicans like Po-pay, Juan de Oñate, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Adolph Bandelier, Earnest Blumenschein, Robert Oppenheimer, and the ’60s-era counter-culture, the New Mexico History Museum sweeps through centuries of human interaction. The museum is located on the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe Next to the Palace of the Governors, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 505-476-5200.

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum and Governor’s Palace

April 16th, 2010

Okay … I admit that I’m a big fan of former New Mexico Governor, Lew Wallace.  Not because I have any idea of what his accomplishments were as he served back in the 1800’s, but because of what he did in his spare time.  This is the Governor who decided he was also a writer and penned the epic “Ben Hur”, which many years later made it to the Big Screen starring everyone’s favorite gladiator and rebel, Charlton Heston!   Roman History has always intrigued me and it obviously did the same to Governor Wallace.

That’s why I feel a connection when I head to Santa Fe and a must stop visit to the Palace of the Governor’s.  There you’ll learn about Governor Wallace and our other forefathers who have occupied the Governor’s office inside the oldest capital building still in use on the North American Continent.  It’s a wonderful place to visit and I must admit that I catch myself wondering about Governor Wallace sitting in his candlelit office after sunset meticulously writing “Ben Hur.”  Did he really have a lot to do as governor, or did he have lots of free time?  How and where did he get his information to write while living in Santa Fe, which is more than a few miles from Italy and Israel!

Lots of those questions arise as we take a peek into how our former Chief Executives lived and worked.  It’s even possible to imagine Governor Bill Richardson sitting there pondering the fate of New Mexico in pretty primitive surroundings!  Do you think any of our 20th Century Governors, including Governor Bill Richardson, ever wondered over to the Palace to walk the halls and asks his predecessors for advice as many of our Presidents have indicated they do in the White House?  Any way you cut it, from the Native Americans sitting outside the front door selling their authentic jewelry and pottery to what you see inside the Palace of the Governors is a place you’ll want to visit time and again while in Santa Fe.

And just behind the Palace is New Mexico’s newest museum … The New Mexico History Museum … 3 ½ floors of everything you want to know about New Mexico from the earliest settlers (after the Native American’s) making their way up the El Camino Real (The Royal Road) from Mexico City … to the wild west and early railroad travel … to space travel in our future.

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum

It’s all here and you’ll want to take in every inch of every floor.  See video (including some of our Travel Guide New Mexico video!) and other interactive displays that do much more than give you a glimpse of New Mexico … they walk you through hundreds of years of history and culture.  All in a way that will truly give you a feeling of what it was like then … and how it has evolved to now.  Just a wonderful place.  And being able to walk between the Palace of the Governor’s to the new New Mexico History Museum is a very special treasure that you won’t find in other states.

San Miguel Mission

April 16th, 2010
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The city of Santa Fe was founded in 1610, and El San Miguel (St. Michael’s) Mission Church was built between 1610 and and 1628. It is the oldest church still in use in the United States, this simple adobe structure was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians of Mexico, who came to New Mexico as servants of the Spanish. Badly damaged in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the church vigas in the ceiling were burned, and in 1692 De Vargas ordered the church rebuilt.

In 1859 the church served as the chapel for the newly arrived Christian Brothers who took over control of St. Michael’s School. In 1881 the Christian Brothers purchased the church, a recently completed school building, an adobe building and the land upon which they were situated from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Since its creation, San Miguel has been used as a chapel and shrine to St. Michael, a military chapel, an oratory for the Christian Brothers, a school chapel and a barrio church. Today, in addition to being an historical treasure, cultural heritage and tourist attraction, it still serves as a shrine to St. Michael and a chapel where Mass is celebrated weekly Some of the features of San Miquel Mission are:

  • Reredos – The reredos or altar screen dates from 1798 and is the oldest wooden reredos in New Mexico.
  • St. Michael the Archangel Statue – The carved gilded and painted wood statue of St. Michael the Archangel celebrates his victory over Satan and dates from at least 1709 when it was brought from Mexico. It occupies the center niche in the reredos.
  • The San Jose Bell – The bronze bell situated in the gift shop once hung in the bell tower. There is some speculation that it was cast in 1856 in the Parroquia in Santa Fe or in Cerrillos in 1836.

Chuck Jones Galleries in Santa Fe

April 16th, 2010
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The Chuck Jones Galleries in Santa Fe are the source for the finest animation and entertainment art in the world. Based significantly around the work of Chuck Jones, the galleries strive to present his and other artist’s fine works of art in their appropriate elegant setting.

The Chuck Jones Gallery (formerly known as the Chuck Jones Showroom) started in an 800 square foot location in Chuck’s hometown of Corona del Mar, California in 1990 by Linda Jones and her son, Todd Kausen. Each gallery is located in beautiful destination communities and are a must-see when visiting enchanting New Mexico.

The Santa Fe, New Mexico gallery is located in the midst of the downtown area near the famous Plaza area. 135 W. Palace Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501.  Call for more information: 505/983-5999.

Visit the Chuck Jones Galleries website.

Behind the Scenes at the Chuck Jones Gallery

April 16th, 2010

I discovered while in Santa Fe that there are a lot of great art galleries.  You know it is the third (I think I’m right) largest art city in the country?  Yep, lots of art, sculptures, weavings and just about anything art.

On my most recent trip to Santa Fe I decided that I didn’t want just the norm in art galleries.  I wanted to visit a place that would really make me smile … even laugh … at what I saw.  And more than that I wanted to feel welcomed to do so and not think I would need to talk in hushed tones during my visit.

Where do you find a place like that?  Someplace that brings out the kid in all of us and takes us back to our childhood … or even gives us a chance to reminisce about “art forms” you’ll find today that give you reason to smile?

Well the answer is The Chuck Jones Gallery just off the Plaza downtown.  Chuck Jones?  You know … Wylie Coyote … Road Runner … Marvin the Martian … all of those folks.  You just look at the art and you can’t help but smile.  Okay … you can’t help but laugh!  And the folks in the gallery encourage you to do so all while telling you what inspired Chuck and the other artists represented there to create what they created.

Think … The Simpsons … and then buy one of the original artist drawn cells used in one of the famed TV episodes that are now over 20 years old!  I’ve always loved the Simpsons and believe it or not there are some cells from which I actually remember the episode and can nearly recite the words Bart and the others exclaimed.  Ah.h.h.h… to have one of those in my office!

On Location at the Chuck Jones Gallery

On Location at the Chuck Jones Gallery

Well, we had a ball filming and talking to the great staff there led by Michael Bundy.  And if you’re lucky you might be in the gallery when Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’ grandson, is there.  Both Michael and Craig will regale you with stories of Chuck Jones.

I ended up purchasing pieces for each member of our staff as a Christmas present.  They are all so wonderful that it is nearly impossible to make the right selection but whatever selection you make, if my staff is any gauge, it will be the right one.  I can’t wait until the Grinch purchased for our home arrives!  Now, that is some Christmas present in a place where laughter and joy abound year round.  The Chuck Jones gallery in Santa Fe.  A different kind of gallery with a whole lot of memories for children of all ages!  You just gotta love it!

New Mexico State Capitol Building

April 16th, 2010
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Today’s New Mexico State Capitol, known as the Roundhouse, is the only round capitol building in the country. It was built by Robert E. McKee with a design by W.C. Kruger that combined elements of New Mexico Territorial style, Pueblo adobe architecture and Greek Revival adaptations. The 232,000 square-foot Roundhouse was dedicated on Dec. 8, 1966.

From a bird’s-eye view, the Roundhouse resembles the Zia sun symbol, which is also emblazoned on the New Mexico state flag. The image, which originated at Zia Pueblo, incorporates elements representing the sun’s rays, the four directions, the four seasons, and the four phases of life. The State Seal of New Mexico, carved in stone, hangs above each of the Roundhouse’s four entrance wings.

The four-story Roundhouse includes a subterranean story and a central interior Rotunda that rises 60 feet through the top three stories. The Rotunda’s design elements include New Mexico Travertine marble featuring a turquoise and brass mosaic depicting the New Mexico State Seal. The ceiling skylight of stained glass is patterned after a Native American basket weave symbolizing the sky and the earth.

The Capitol Art Collection includes paintings, sculpture, handcrafted furniture and other work by New Mexico artists and artisans. The Governor’s Gallery, located on the fourth floor, was founded by Clare Apodaca, who served as New Mexico’s First Lady from 1975 to 1978. The gallery, an outreach facility of the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Department of Cultural Affairs, presents six exhibits per year, including the annual Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

For information about guided tours of the New Mexico State Capitol by appointment, call (505) 986-4589 during business hours Monday through Friday. Visitors can take a self-guided tour anytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Read more about the New Mexico State Capitol here.

J and R Vintage Auto Museum in Rio Rancho

March 19th, 2010
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Gab & Evonna Joiner, native New Mexicans, have called Rio Rancho home for the past 18 years. After Gab bought his first antique car in 1959, a 1926 Model T Ford coupe, which he later traded for a ’28 Chevrolet, he also bought a 1918 Model T Ford that had been made into a pickup from a touring car the same year in Raton. Gab’s passion for vintage and antique automobiles has grow ever since and has resulted in a collection of more than 70 cars and trucks. These vehicles range in age from circa 1907-1966. Some are fully restored, while others retain their original paint, upholstery and motor grease. Step through the entrance to the main showroom and you will be swept away to a time when cars came with tool kits and people on cross-country drives wore goggles and brought along their mechanics. The museum also serves as a way station for the Great Race, a coast-to-coast event exclusively for vintage autos.

Pick your adventure in Taos

February 27th, 2010
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Pick your adventure in and around Taos, a small town that offers a respected artistic community, many treasures of history and access to worlds of sporting thrills. Get a real taste of frontier history at the Kit Carson Home and Museum, the notorious Governor Bent Home, or the Blumenschein Home & Museum. Take in the artistic side of the area at the Fechin Institute or the Harwood Museum of Art. Taos also puts you within reach of spectacular skiing at Taos Ski Valley or Wheeler Peak, or whitewater rafting at Taos Box on the Rio Grande. Visit Rancho de Taos for historic churches, or Taos Pueblo to see an ancient American Indian community.

Taos Pueblo

February 27th, 2010
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Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. We welcome you to visit our village when you travel to northern New Mexico.

Taos Pueblo is open daily Monday – Saturday 8:00am-4:30pm and Sunday 8:30am-4:30pm. Guided tours are available.

Western New Mexico University Museum

January 2nd, 2010
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Housed on the campus of Western New Mexico University, The WNMU Museum houses one of the world’s most complete and comprehensive collections of Mimbres pottery, basketry, and other artifacts, in the Eisele Collection of Prehistoric Southwestern Pottery and Artifacts. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM and on Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The museum is closed on university holidays. Admission is free and the museum is fully handicapped accessible. These museum’s stunning examples of ancient pottery reveal a glimpse of the cultural and artistic life of the area more than 800 years ago.

Check out our videos of other New Mexico museums here.

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