Spiritual Blessings and Pilgrimage Kick Off Museum’s Second Day of Grand Opening Events

May 26th, 2009 by admin

Spiritual Blessings and Pilgrimage
Kick Off Museum’s Second Day
of Grand Opening Events

Thousands of visitors continue to line up
after first day’s blockbuster attendance

Santa Fe, NM, May 25, 2009 – The pealing bells of St. Francis Cathedral heralded Monday’s opening events for the New Mexico History Museum, as visitors continued to stream into the building at 113 Lincoln Avenue, north of the historic Santa Fe Plaza. An interfaith service at the Cathedral marked Monday’s festivities, with leaders from various religions and cultures coming together to commemorate the museum and the state’s rich and lengthy history.

Interfaith Service

Nearly 10,700 people visited the Museum on its opening day, creating lines that sometimes stretched several blocks, even during an hour-long thunderstorm. Attendance Monday was on a par to match that, with an estimated 6,000 visitors at 2 p.m., and lines once again reaching along the length of the building and beyond. Besides free admission, visitors enjoyed entertainment and a vintage car show on the Santa Fe Plaza, a period fashion show in the Museum and an ice cream social in the Palace of the Governors Courtyard.

More than 400 people attended the interfaith service, where Monsignor Jerome J. Martínez y Alire, rector of the Cathedral, recalled how his first job as a pastor involved rebuilding an 1827 adobe church in the small town of El Rito. As parishioners tore down the remnants of the original church, they uncovered large adobe bricks that revealed how a previous community worked together: Women mixed the mud; men poured it into brick forms; and children tamped it down with their feet, leaving the memory of their footprints.

“It was one generation speaking to us, another generation, of the values they had and the hope for the future,” he said.

Noting that the Museum does not gloss over “the wrinkles and warts” of New Mexico’s past, Martínez concluded: “The very fact that it stands is an honor to those who went before us. We stand on their shoulders.”

Other blessings and spiritual readings were offered by Tesuque Pueblo Gov. Mark Mitchell, Rabbi Marvin Schwab of Temple Beth Shalom, Rev. David Wiseman of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, and Rev. Kenneth J. Semon of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Faith. Following the service, the congregants – including Chinese lion dancers and many people in period dress – formed a processional to the Museum, where Martínez sprinkled holy water on the entrance as the aroma of incense wafted into the building.

Santa Fe Processional

Chautauqua performers then mingled on the Plaza as performers ranging from Native American flutist Andrew Tomás to the Barbershop Sounds, from the Alamogordo Ballet Folklorica Dancers to Not-So-Andrews Sisters entertained crowds that easily topped 300 – with the music a clear favorite among a collection of whirling preschoolers.

The day wound down with a panel of speakers who contributed to the book accompanying the Museum’s core exhibit. Telling New Mexico features essays and articles by fifty prominent historians and scholars representing various disciplines including history, anthropology, Native American and Chicano studies. The book stands as a valuable new addition to the history of New Mexico and the Southwest and appeals to students, scholars and armchair historians.

With Downtown Santa Fe parking at a premium, many visitors took advantage of the New Mexico Rail Runner’s special weekend service. A Rail Runner spokesman said an early check showed an uptick in weekend usage, but that final figures were yet to be calculated.

Video of the ribbon-cutting and opening-weekend events: www.youtube.com/NMHistoryMuseum
Photographs of the events: www.flickr.com/groups/nmhm/.
Live Twitter updates: http://twitter.com/nmhm.
All are free for publication and Web posting.

New Mexico History Museum at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza. A media room is available across the street in the Museum of New Mexico Foundation office, with free wifi, past media releases and staff to assist journalists.

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

Previous releases:

Historic scissors to cut the ribbon at NMHM

Riding the Rails… in Style

Duty, Sacrifice, Honor

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

NM History Museum on Youtube

NM History Museum on Flickr

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Silva
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

Historic Scissors to cut the Ribbon at NMHM Grand Opening

May 22nd, 2009 by admin

History Makes the Cut!

A Pair of 18th-Century Scissors Will Help
Cut the Ribbon At Museum’s Grand Opening


18th-century Spanish scribe’s scissors

Santa Fe, N.M., May 22, 2009 – When the Grand Opening ribbon is cut at the brand-new New Mexico History Museum on Sunday, May 24, it will be in historical style. A pair of 18th-century Spanish scribe’s scissors have been loaned to the Museum by longtime supporter Jerry Richardson, a Museum of New Mexico Foundation trustee.

The scissors were purchased by Richardson in 2002 at an antiques show in Santa Fe. Described to Richardson as “scribe’s shears or scissors,” they were dated to the early 18th century, but believed to be even older. In that earlier era, villagers who could not read or write themselves went to a scribe when they wanted to send someone a letter. They dictated the letter to the scribe, who had a long roll of paper, pen, ink and a pair of scissors. After writing the letter, the scribe would cut it off the roll, thereby conserving the remaining paper.

“I am very pleased that these historic scribe’s scissors are going to be used for the very historic occasion of the opening of the New Mexico History Museum,” said Richardson, a founding member of Los Compadres del Palacio, the group that began working on the Museum about 20 years ago. “It has always been my hope that they would someday become part of the collections there and now, with this linkage, they are even more appropriate for the collections.”

The ribbon-cutting begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 24, in the Palace of the Governors Courtyard. Speakers will include:

  • New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
  • Former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, for whom the Museum building is named
  • Dr. Frances Levine, director of the Museum
  • Stuart Ashman, secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Alvin Warren, secretary of the Department of Indian Affairs
  • Ambassador Patricia Espinosa, Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry
  • Spanish Ambassador to the United States D. Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza
Museum Front Desk: 505-476-5200

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

The New Mexico Rail Runner will operate its Saturday schedule (http://www.nmrailrunner.com/schedule.asp) on May 24 and 25 to accommodate opening-weekend visitors. In addition, all four of the state’s Santa Fe-based museums will have free admission on both days: the Museum of Art (http://www.nmartmuseum.org/); the Museum of International Folk Art (http://www.internationalfolkart.org/); and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (http://www.indianartsandculture.org/).

Previous releases:
High-Tech Techniques Bring New Mexico’s Past to Life

Join the Stampede! New Mexico History Museum’s Grand Opening

Riding the Rails… in Style

Four Centuries of History: the Fiestas de Santa Fe

Duty, Sacrifice, Honor

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

The Art of the Exhibit

May 21st, 2009 by admin

The Art of the Exhibit
It Took a Village to Build These Stories


Patrick Gallagher

Santa Fe, NM, May 21, 2009 – Deciding which stories among centuries of stories to tell in the New Mexico History Museum took years of discussions with staff and historians and statewide meetings with people from every corner of the state. Deciding how to tell them took the expertise of Gallagher & Associates.

Since 2004, the Bethesda, Md.-based design services firm has worked with Museum staff to create the exhibits that enhance the Telling New Mexico: Stories From Then and Now core exhibition. The Museum, at 113 Lincoln Avenue on the Santa Fe Plaza, opens at noon on Sunday, May 24. Blending treasured artifacts with archival photographs, manuscripts, audio, video, interactives, graphics and replica artifacts that visitors can actually touch, the firm aimed for an environment that sets people into various time periods, face to face with people both famous and everyday who lived the stories they tell.

“It’s about the people, it’s not about the stuff,” said Patrick Gallagher, president. “We have interesting artifacts, but it’s not about the collection, it’s about the people. Without them, there’s no history.

“Today, museums have to tell stories not just one way, but three or four different ways because people learn so differently. We asked ourselves, `What can we employ to put people in the places we’re talking about?’ Sometimes it’s theatrical. Sometimes, it’s environmental. And, yes, people still do read in museums.”

Telling New Mexico is designed as a timeline of the cultures that met – and sometimes clashed – from the 1500s into the present-day. Or, as Gallagher puts it: “You go into the exhibition with the voice of the past. You leave with the voice of the future.”

Gallagher & Associates, known for its work on the Jamestown Settlement, the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall, and the International Spy Museum, intends for History Museum visitors to slowly wend their way through the three floors of the exhibition, touching hand-troweled adobe walls, stopping to watch a short film, paging through a book, and hearing stories of yesterday. The immersive environment includes a variety of perspectives, revealing how different cultures viewed the events that shaped what New Mexico became.

“The opportunity to work with Patrick Gallagher and his team of designers, Sujit Tolat and Gretchen Coss, was a great opportunity to reach for the stars,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the History Museum. “The Gallagher team and the Museum staff were able collaborators in the conceptualization and execution of the core exhibition.

“Gallagher’s team taught us new ways to interpret our own past. They have such broad experience as designers of historical exhibitions and knew how to reach the multiple learning styles and intergenerational visitor groups that we want to reach in the New Mexico History Museum. Our team was strengthened by the experience of working with the Gallagher team. And visitors will be enriched by the experiences they find here.”

The New Mexico History Museum, www.nmhistorymuseum.org, combines the nation’s newest museum with the nation’s oldest government building, the Palace of the Governors. Add yourself to the mix. Join us for two free days of admission and family events on Sunday and Monday.

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza
Museum Front Desk: 505-476-5200

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

The New Mexico Rail Runner will operate its Saturday schedule (http://www.nmrailrunner.com/schedule.asp) on May 24 and 25 to accommodate opening-weekend visitors. In addition, all four of the state’s Santa Fe-based museums will have free admission on both days: the Museum of Art (http://www.nmartmuseum.org/); the Museum of International Folk Art (http://www.internationalfolkart.org/); and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (http://www.indianartsandculture.org/).

Previous releases:
High-Tech Techniques Bring New Mexico’s Past to Life

Join the Stampede! New Mexico History Museum’s Grand Opening

Riding the Rails… in Style

Four Centuries of History: the Fiestas de Santa Fe

Duty, Sacrifice, Honor

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

A Flight of Hand-Crafted Arrows Enlivens Museum’s Pueblo Revolt Display

May 19th, 2009 by admin

A Flight of Hand-Crafted Arrows
Enlivens Museum’s Pueblo Revolt Display


Dave Brewer examines the
creation of the exhibit


A volunteer meticulously
hangs arrows

Santa Fe, NM, May 18, 2009 – It took more than a review of the facts for the New Mexico History Museum to tell the story of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It also took the patient efforts of volunteers who created an awe-inspiring exhibition within the Museum, opening May 24 at 113 Lincoln Avenue on the Santa Fe Plaza.

About 20 volunteers and staff from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Friends of Archaeology and the state’s Office of Archaeological Studies helped craft 300 replica arrows that dangle in a mass from the ceiling via nearly invisible fishing line.

Pointed toward a mock-up of a burned and crumbling building (in real life, the Palace of the Governors), the arrows symbolize the drama and tension that pierced the battle between Native Americans, Spanish soldiers and settlers during the Revolt. The reaction of visitors who enter the exhibit is near-universal: They tilt their heads back, look up and say, “Wow!”

“We want this Museum to expand people’s understanding of New Mexico history, but we also want to do so in a way that engages their emotions,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the New Mexico History Museum. “These volunteers understood that, and their commitment to step forward and contribute their talents makes this an exhibit people will talk about for years to come.”

The arrows were made in the styles and with the raw materials that were current during the 17th century. The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge allowed the collection of cane and willow shaft materials, and various turkey ranchers and hunters provided feathers for the fletchings. Most of the stone arrow points were crafted by Tommy Heflin, a skilled flintknapper from Portales, N.M., while others were donated by archaeologists throughout the state who make stone points in their spare time. Metal points were crafted by Gary Williams, a Corrales, N.M., blacksmith, and Dave Brewer, one of the Santa Fe volunteers.

In addition to the Friends of Archaeology, several artists and religious leaders from New Mexico’s 19 pueblos provided handmade arrows, further enhancing the exhibit’s powerful message and authentic materials.

“When we first heard about the vision of the exhibit designers, we knew that we wanted to be involved in some way” said Eric Blinman, director of the Office of Archaeological Studies. “First it was the challenge, excitement, and gratification of learning how to make high-quality arrows that would really fly. Then it was the challenge of designing and executing their flight within the museum display.”

The New Mexico History Museum gives visitors the chance to explore the rich history of the Southwest in comfort and style. Define your own place in history. Get into it! Join us at the New Mexico History Museum’s grand opening – and keep coming back for changing exhibits and special events.

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza
Museum Front Desk: 505-476-5200

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

The New Mexico Rail Runner will operate its Saturday schedule (http://www.nmrailrunner.com/schedule.asp) on May 24 and 25 to accommodate opening-weekend visitors. In addition, all four of the state’s Santa Fe-based museums will have free admission on both days: the Museum of Art (http://www.nmartmuseum.org/); the Museum of International Folk Art (http://www.internationalfolkart.org/); and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (http://www.indianartsandculture.org/).

Previous releases:
Join the Stampede! New Mexico History Museum’s Grand Opening

Riding the Rails… in Style

Four Centuries of History: the Fiestas de Santa Fe

Duty, Sacrifice, Honor

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

May 15th, 2009 by admin


Final Exhibit’s Oral Histories interactive

High-Tech Techniques Bring New Mexico’s Past to Life
Interactive exhibits a highlight of new Museum


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo interactive


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo interactive


Segesser Hides interactive

Santa Fe, NM, May 15, 2009 – Hands-on history. That’s one of the many ways the New Mexico History Museum (http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org/), opening May 24, puts visitors into the sights, sounds and actual feel of its stories.

How? Meet Second Story Interactive Studio (http://www.secondstory.com/). The Portland, Ore., firm, recipient of numerous accolades for installations at the Library of Congress, Bank of America, and Grammy Museum, has built a number of touch-screen interactive exhibits for the History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, on the Santa Fe Plaza. Zoom in to observe details of the treasured Segesser Hides. Dig for nuances in bilingual versions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Watch the state’s boundaries grow, shrink and change over time.

“People learn best by employing all of their senses and by assembling knowledge from different formats,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the New Mexico History Museum. “For historians, that means exploring the artifacts held in museum collections, as well as the oral histories, the diaries, the maps, the paintings and the photographs of the people who lived that history.

“As teachers, it also means using all the tools available to us to touch our visitors’ minds and connect to experiences that make history tangible.”

From the casual visitor to the serious scholar, the New Mexico History Museum aims not to state “what happened,” but to instead offer a variety of viewpoints presented in a variety of ways. Reach out and touch these parts of history:

  • The core exhibition, Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now, opens with a stylized cliff wall complete with petroglyph-like handprints. Actual handprints from artisans of the Palace of the Governor’s Portal Program, they include three cast-metal prints that, when you place your hands over them, trigger audio stories from Apache, Navajo and Pueblo speakers about what the land and culture mean to their communities and cultures.
  • The Segesser Hide Paintings, on display in the History Museum’s Palace of the Governors, are one of the earliest depictions of Spanish Colonial life in the United States. Interactive replicas of the paintings in Telling New Mexico include a touch screen that visitors can use to explore various details of the paintings and the people depicted within them. A media-based tour guides you through each step, or you can pan and zoom your way to hotspots containing short, interpretive bullets. Besides explaining the action shown on the hides, the exhibit explains the story of the hides themselves, which were under private, European ownership from 1758-1988, when the Palace of the Goverors acquired these treasures of New Mexico history.
  • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the oldest agreement between Mexico and the United States, remains alive in courtrooms and households throughout New Mexico. Signed on Feb. 2, 1848, it ended the Mexican-American War, and ceded nearly half of Mexico’s territory to the United States, including what became the state of New Mexico. A wall-size, bilingual reproduction lets visitors choose a directed story with a linear overview; a free-form, self-directed exploration of every page of the treaty; and video-based interviews with scholars describing its present-day impacts.
  • New Mexico’s borders have been made and remade over the centuries. “Encounters,” a motion-graphic installation projected onto a glass wall, tells the story of those shifting borders and the events that defined the state. The exhibit includes a two-minute animation that shows how the state was shaped through various time periods, what events triggered the shifting boundaries, and how changing landscapes build upon one another.
  • To carry New Mexico’s history into today, Second Story helped collect stories from New Mexicans across the state – ranchers, oil workers, scientists, Sikhs and more – about tradition, land, language, water, lifestyle and growth. These stories, some in video, some in audio, make up the final exhibit in Telling New Mexico. After hearing the soundscape, visitors are invited to write their own story and leave it for a future exhibit.

High-tech interactives are the vanguard of museums these days, but so is the ability to stop and ponder, to leaf through an album of historic photos, to sit on the Museum’s second-story terrace and let the stories of New Mexico’s centuries sink in. We’ll pace you through the journey with a mix of the two. Get into it! Come be a part of history in the making.

Opening weekend features two free days of family events at the History Museum, as well as free admission to the three other state museums in Santa Fe – Museum of Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Museum of International Folk Art. The New Mexico Rail Runner will be operating both May 24 and 25 in honor of the grand opening.

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza
Museum Front Desk: 505-476-5200

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

The New Mexico Rail Runner will operate its Saturday schedule (http://www.nmrailrunner.com/schedule.asp) on May 24 and 25 to accommodate opening-weekend visitors. In addition, all four of the state’s Santa Fe-based museums will have free admission on both days: the Museum of Art (http://www.nmartmuseum.org/); the Museum of International Folk Art (http://www.internationalfolkart.org/); and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (http://www.indianartsandculture.org/).

Previous releases:
Riding the Rails… in Style

Duty, Sacrifice, Honor

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

Riding the Rails… in Style

May 12th, 2009 by admin


Harvey Girl at El Ortiz in Lamy, N.M., circa 1912

Riding the Rails … In Style
Fred Harvey brought hot meals, grand architecture
and those fabled Harvey Girls to Western travel

Welcome to the latest installment of our media-release series, “Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now.” See the links below for previous releases, along with information about obtaining photographs to accompany your coverage.


La Fonda, the Harvey Hotel at Santa Fe,
circa 1810


Curio Room in Fred Harvey’s Alvarado Hotel, Albuquerque, circa 1900

Santa Fe – With the completion of the trans-continental railroad in 1869, many Americans set out to discover the “Wild West” for themselves. What they found held a few discouragements. The long, dusty ride across the country had little to offer in the way of lodging, and the food often consisted of little more than rancid meat, cold beans and week-old coffee.

Enter Fred Harvey.

A British-born entrepreneur, Harvey saw the potential in turning Western exploration into a pleasure trip. The New Mexico History Museum, www.nmhistorymuseum.org, is opening May 24, 2009, at 113 Lincoln Avenue on the historic Santa Fe Plaza. The museum explores more than 400 years of the American West, including how the public’s romantic notions of “the frontier” were fueled through the cultural tourism led by Fred Harvey and his Harvey Houses.

Harvey, a onetime freight clerk for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, had worked in a number of cafes in New York, and had even owned a restaurant in New Orleans as a young man. He saw the need for quality food and lodging on his many travels with the railroad, and recognized the profit potential of offering a higher standard of dining. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy ignored his offers, so he turned to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, which agreed to partner with him.

Thanks to Harvey’s strict standards of quality and service, his first restaurant in Topeka, Kansas, was so successful that the Santa Fe Railway encouraged him to open more. The railway offered Harvey employees free travel, carried the supplies for his restaurants in their refrigerated cars for free, and effectively gave him a blank-check to open as many dining establishments as he was able. In just eleven years, Harvey had opened 24 Harvey Houses between Topeka and San Bernardino, California, creating the first restaurant chain in the United States.

In 1883, during one of his “surprise inspections,” Harvey fired every waiter at the Harvey House in Raton, New Mexico, for inadequate service. At the advice of his newly hired manager, Harvey turned to local women to replace his waiters. These new waitresses, “Harvey Girls,” became so popular with the local community and passengers that Harvey followed suit in all of his restaurants. Issuing advertisements across the country that, according to some accounts, called for “young women 18 to 30 years of age, of good character, attractive and intelligent,” Harvey was able to build a professional and respected workforce that not only set a new standard for equality in the work place, but also branded the Harvey Houses as decent and respectable dining establishments. Tourists began to travel the West in droves, and young women came from other states for the opportunity to see the West while earning a living.

Although the Santa Fe Railway offered Pullman cars for passengers who wanted to sleep, many preferred to stay at the numerous Harvey Hotels that sprung up along the tracks. In 1901, Fred Harvey hired Mary Colter, a graduate of the California School of Design, to work as an interior designer and architect. Colter designed a number of hotels for Harvey, most notably the El Navajo in Gallup, New Mexico, but she is mostly remembered for her incorporation of Indian art and design into the hotels. (Colter is also famed for designing the Phantom Ranch buildings at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, along with Hermit’s Rest and Bright Angel Lodge on the rim.)

The Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was home to the Harvey Indian House, a gift shop that sold local Indian crafts like pottery, blankets and jewelry. Native artisans were often present in the Indian House, allowing tourists to watch the craftsmen work. This inclusion of Native American craftsmen marked the first real appearance of cultural tourism in the United States.

In 1911, a writer for the Albuquerque Morning Journal dubbed Harvey “the Napoleon of hotel managers,” and wrote:

Some day a book will be devoted to detailed description of the Harvey system, its hotel, dining room and the extraordinary features of a management which allows a traveler to dine on brook trout in the middle of the desert, and on the rarest fruits in vast reaches of country where nothing is raised but cactus and sage brush. The Castañeda at Las Vegas, a great building of dark red brick in the mission style, the Alvarado at Albuquerque, fronted by long collonades and well proportioned arches; the Cardeñas at Trinidad; the Fray Marcos at Williams; the Escalante at Ash Fork; the El Garces at Needles – all these, and many others are, in their many departments, worthy of the study of the artist, the epicure, the student of Indian life, and of many men in the United States who lay claim to the title “hotel manager.” (“The Harvey Girls,” Lesley Poling-Kempes, 1989, Da Capo Press)

In 1926, the Harvey Company expanded its involvement in cultural tourism by adding “Indian Detours” to the list of services offered. These two- to three-day tours would frequently start from Gallup, Santa Fe, Albuquerque or Las Vegas, New Mexico, and took tourists to remote pueblos via “Indian Detours” buses. The tours were guided by young, educated women called Couriers, who worked closely with the cowboy-dressed drivers to make sure passengers had an enjoyable trip, despite the often questionable condition of the roads. The tours gave visitors to the Southwest a hands-on opportunity to experience the lives of the Pueblo people native to New Mexico, and greatly increased the trade and popularity of Native American arts and crafts.

(In a similar vein, the New Mexico History Museum’s Native American Artisans Program lets visitors to the Palace of the Governors interact with artisans who display and sell their wares under the Palace’s outdoor portal – one of the most popular features of the state’s 100-year-old museum system.)

Today, Harvey Houses and Hotels are virtually extinct, but the legacy of cultural tourism inaugurated by Fred Harvey continues. Like the Harvey Hotels, the New Mexico History Museum gives modern-day visitors the chance to explore the rich history of the Southwest in comfort and style. Define your own place in history. Get into it! Join us at the New Mexico History Museum’s grand opening – and keep coming back for changing exhibits and special events.

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

Previous releases:
Duty, Honor, Sacrifice

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

Duty, Honor, Sacrifice: New Mexico Veterans answered the Nation’s call

May 7th, 2009 by admin

Duty, Sacrifice, Honor
New Mexico Veterans Answered the Nation’s Call

Welcome to the latest installment of our media-release series, “Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now.” See the links below for previous releases, along with information about obtaining photographs to accompany your coverage.

For generations, New Mexico’s men and women have heard the nation’s call to service and answered it with courage, sacrifice and honor. Their stories – including those of the Buffalo Soldiers, Indian Code Talkers and Bataan Death March survivors – are among the many told by the New Mexico History Museum, opening May 24, 2009, at 113 Lincoln Avenue on the historic Santa Fe Plaza. More than four centuries of stories fill the Museum’s 96,000 square feet – a testament to the roles New Mexico has played and continues to play in how the American West evolved.

In the realm of military service, the museum’s artifacts include chain mail worn by Spanish soldiers during the entrada of the late 1500s. The museum also tells of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, when Native American tribes banded together to drive Spanish colonists back to Mexico. These accounts, and those that followed, create a picture of a state that grew from discord, difficulties and treaties into one of the nation’s most honored and turned-to sources of service in times of war and peace. Among those accounts:

  • Under a Territorial flag in 1846, U.S. Gen. Stephen W. Kearney occupied New Mexico and implemented the Kearney Code, providing for a Territorial Militia.
  • In 1862, the New Mexico Volunteers played a vital part in the battles of Glorietta and Valverde, spoiling Confederate plans to occupy the West.
  • In 1866, the first members of the U.S. Army’s Buffalo Soldiers began working to keep the peace between New Mexico settlers and tribal members. The 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers saw action in the Wild West unrest of Cimarron and Lincoln as well as the successful pursuit of Apache leader Victorio, earning eight Medals of Honor in that campaign alone. Among their fellow African-Americans, these soldiers – many of them newly freed slaves – were regarded with the same pride as Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s.
  • In 1898, many New Mexicans served as Teddy Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders,” riding with him at the charge of San Juan Hill. New Mexicans pursued Pancho Villa under the command of Gen. John J. Pershing. Many also volunteered for service in WWI.
  • In 1941, the New Mexico National Guard was sent to the Philippines for a one-year training exercise and instead became one-sixth of all the service members on the Bataan Death March. Two-thirds of the New Mexicans died on the march or in the prison camps. Despite deplorable conditions, a strong sense of identity as New Mexicans fortified the survivors who, after three years of unspeakable horrors, were released. They are still honored today in New Mexico and in the Museum.
  • At the outset of WWII, the U.S. Marine Corps recruited 29 Navajos to devise a secret code. Eventually, more than 420 Navajo code talkers served their country, using Diné, their native language, as the one code the Japanese never broke. According to Maj. Howard Conner: “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”
  • In the summer of 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took on a top-secret task called “the Manhattan Project.” Based in Los Alamos, N.M., and boasting some of the greatest minds of the 20th century, including its leader, J. Robert Oppenheimer, its scientists developed the atomic bomb and ushered in the Nuclear Age.

These stories represent more than New Mexico’s contributions; they belong to the entire nation. From its earliest days, through World Wars, Vietnam and today’s Mideast conflicts, New Mexicans have charted a legacy of honor and distinction. Nearly 200,000 U.S. veterans live in New Mexico. Of those, 16,149 are women, 9,970 are Native American, and four can say they served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf War. During WWII, New Mexico lost more lives, per capita, than any other state. Three Medal of Honor recipients currently live in the state.

The New Mexico History Museum, www.nmhistorymuseum.org/, is proud to help tell these stories in interactive, multimedia exhibits that allow visitors to experience the adventure and gather information to frame their own point of view. Define your place in history by understanding those who came before. Get into it! Join us at the New Mexico History Museum, opening Memorial Day weekend 2009.

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

Previous releases:
Four Centuries of History: the Fiestas de Santa Fe

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:

NM History Museum on Twitter

NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

Join the Stampede!

May 5th, 2009 by admin

Join the Stampede

New Mexico History Museum’s Grand Opening Events
Promise Two Free Days of Family Fun

After 20 years in the planning – not to mention centuries in the making – New Mexico’s newest museum opens its doors to the public at noon on Sunday, May 24, 2009. It wouldn’t be a Santa Fe event without a Santa Fe-style party, and we’re pulling out the stops.

With events and entertainment at the Museum, in the Palace of the Governors’ shady courtyard and on the Santa Fe Plaza, there’s a little something for everyone. Lowriders, Mariachi music, flamenco dancing, Celtic pipers, Native American drummers, and Chautauqua performers are just part of what you’ll find, along with a free Ice Cream Social 1-4pm Monday, May 25, in the Palace Courtyard.

All of it’s in honor of the New Mexico History Museum, http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org/, the state’s newest museum, which 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. Get into it! Come be a part of history in the making!

Schedule of events:

Sunday, May 24, 2009
9am-noon:

Members-only preview and light breakfast. Find out how to become a member at www.museumfoundation.org or sign up at the event.

12-6pm:
Free admission to the History Museum and its exhibits, along with all other state museums in Santa Fe.

12-1pm:
Native American drumming in the Palace Courtyard.

1-3 pm:
Ribbon-cutting with Dr. Frances Levine, director of the Museum, and other dignitaries in the Palace Courtyard. Presentation of the Colors by La Orden Military; Pledge of Allegiance; Blessings of the Ground; ribbon-cutting and ceremonial walk over the bridge connecting the Palace Courtyard to the Museum.

3-6 pm:
Procession of lowriders and display outside the Palace. Participants includes Joseph, Matt and Bobby Chacon; Almardo and Pam Jaramillo; Victor Martinez.

3-4 pm:
Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word Team performance (Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros) on the Plaza. Indigenous youth writers, the team members have received national recognition for performances of poetry that incorporate Native languages and philosophies. The school’s spoken-word program demonstrates the importance of culture, history, tradition, identity and poetry. The youths are coached by teacher and writer Tim McLaughlin.

3-5:30 pm:
Museum of New Mexico Press/University of New Mexico Press book signings in the History Museum Gathering Space.

4-4:30 pm:
Kenpo Po Karate Karate School demonstration on the Plaza. Like the History Museum, the Kenpo School believes the next generation – our future history-makers – will be more successful with a confident and well-rounded childhood. Participants: D’Kota Potter, 5; Carlos Garcia, 5; Markus Vigil, 10; Evan Watkins, 7; Fernanda Carranza, 9; Maria Lozova, 12; Tommy Dearing, 14; Maria Najarro.

4:30-5 pm:
Mariachi Sonidos del Monte (Sounds of the Mountain) on the Plaza. With a variety of violins, trumpets, guitars, a guitarron, vihuela and a range of harmonic voices, this group is quickly becoming a Northern New Mexico favorite. The group plays traditional Mexican favorites with its own unique sound. Musicians include Raul Duran, violin; Sean Trujillo, violin; Anthony Ortiz, violin; Santiago Romero, guitar; Fernando Romero, guitarron; Rachel Miller, vihuela; Christina Gomez, guitar; Brandie Duran, violin; Eric Ortiz, trumpet; Nikki Brancha, trumpet.

5-6pm:
Institute for Spanish Arts and Maria Benítez’s La Generación performance on the Plaza. World-renowned flamenco dancer Maria Benítez, with the Institute for Spanish Arts, formed this company of young New Mexicans to preserve and strengthen our rich and diverse artistic heritage. Since 2003, the company has fostered new generations of artists and audiences by stimulating public awareness of Hispanic and Spanish art and culture – bolstering the Museum’s desire to carry a legacy of history and identity to the next generation. The company, consisting of children ages 10-18, has performed throughout the state. Maria Benítez, with her husband, Cecilio, founded and direct Maria Benítez Teatro Flamenco, long known for its commitment to excellence.

6-6:30pm:
Order of the Thistle pipes and drums on the Plaza. Besides performing throughout New Mexico, this band attended the Pipefest ’05 in Edinburgh, Scotland, marching with more than 400 bands from around the world. They show that New Mexico has more than three cultures comprising its varied heritage. The band, wearing the muted MacDonald tartan, range from 10-year-olds to seniors. Members include Ron Crawford, pipe major; Lisa Lashley, pipe sergeant; Gwyneth Duncan, drum sergeant; Ed Hansen, piper; Cullen Dwyer, drummer, bass; Paulette Keeney, piper; Louis Jacobs, drummer, tenor.

Monday, May 25:
10am-5pm:

Free admission to the History Museum and its exhibits, along with all other state museums in Santa Fe.

10am:
Interfaith service at St. Francis Cathedral.

11am:
Processional parade from the Cathedral to the Museum with Los Caballeros, the Santa Fe Fiesta Council, representatives of Native American groups and New Mexico Historical societies, and others.

11:30am:
Lion Dancers from the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of New Mexico perform outside the Museum. (Feed the lion dollar bills for good luck!)

12-5pm:
Live music and dance on the Santa Fe Plaza from various periods and cultures of New Mexico, including Andrew Tomas on Native American flute; Barbershop Sounds; Santa Fe Community Band; National Dance Institute; Not-So-Andrews Sisters; Alamogordo Ballet Folklorica Dancers; Call of the Drums.

Throughout the Plaza, characters from the past, dressed in the costumes of their time, reappear, ready to tell their stories, answer questions and pose for pictures.

12-4pm: The Santa Fe Vintage Car Club roars into the Plaza to display shining examples of the vehicles that once carried Americans across the Southwest.

1-2:30pm: Members of Sociedad Folklorica join members of New Mexico’s tribes and pueblos to model historical clothing, complementing the Museum’s premiere rotating exhibition, “Fashioning New Mexico.” Come to the Museum’s upstairs Gathering Space to enjoy the show.

1-4 pm: The Route 66 Ice Cream Parlor sets up shop in the Palace Courtyard, offering free scoops served by members of Kenpo 5.0 Team Silva. Live music and historical photo boards to pose yourself into (bring a camera!).

Team Silva – professional cage-fighter Paul Silva and his father/mentor/cornerman Gilbert H. Silva – along with fighting colleagues Paul Tapia, Tony Potter, Ricky Salas and Leroy Ortega, are taking off the gloves and picking up the scoops as part of their shared goal with the Museum to promote family, values, self-realization and nurturing for the next generation.

2:30-4 pm: Telling New Mexico, the book accompanying the Museum’s core exhibition, will be unveiled at a book signing and panel discussion among authors who contributed to the collection of historical essays. Enjoy your first event in the Museum’s brand-new auditorium and get a copy of what’s sure to become a must-have historical resource.

New Mexico History Museum
at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/nmhm. More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at www.palaceofthegovernors.org (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

Previous releases:
Four Centuries of History: the Fiestas de Santa Fe

Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art

Fashioning New Mexico

The Tiffany Ties that Bind

The Railroad Wars

The New Face of History

The Tales that Made the American West

New Mexico History Museum’s Core Exhibits

Telling the People’s Stories: A Message from the Director

Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006

Other Sites:
NM History Museum on Twitter
NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts:
Kate Nelson
New Mexico History Museum
505 476 1141
Kate.Nelson@state.nm.us
www.nmhistorymuseum.org

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Rachel@ballantinespr.com
505 216 0889
www.ballantinespr.com

SCHEDULE SUMMARY

Saturday, May 23rd
6:30 – 9pm
New Mexico History Museum Grand Opening Gala
$200 per person
e-mail heather@museumfoundation.org or
call 505-982-6366 x116 to RSVP

Sunday, May 24
9am – Noon
New Mexico History Museum
Members-Only Preview
Reserve at membership@museumfoundation.org

Noon – 6pm
New Mexico History Museum Public Opening
Free

Noon – 6:00 pm
New Mexico Creates Shop Opens
Members receive 10% discount
http://www.newmexicocreates.org/

Noon-1pm
Native American drumming in the Palace Courtyard

1-3pm
Official ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Palace Courtyard

3-6pm
Low-rider exhibition outside the Palace

3-4pm
Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word Team performance on the Plaza

3-5:30pm
Museum of New Mexico Press/University of New Mexico Press book signings in the History Museum’s Gathering Space

4-4:30pm
Kenpo Po Karate School demonstration on the Plaza

4:30-5pm
Mariachi Sonidos del Monte (Sounds of the Mountain) on the Plaza

5-6pm
Institute for Spanish Arts and Maria Benitez’ La Nueva Generación flamenco performance on the Plaza

6-6:30pm
Order of the Thistle pipes and drums on the Plaza

Monday, May 25
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
New Mexico History Museum Family Day
Free

10am
Interfaith Service at St. Francis Cathedral

11am
Procession from the Cathedral to the History Museum

11:30am
Lion Dancers from the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of New Mexico perform outside the Museum (feed the lions dollar bills for good luck!)

Noon-5pm
Music and dance on the Plaza Gazebo.

Noon-4pm
Santa Fe Vintage Car Club exposition

1-4pm
Route 66 Ice Cream Parlor’s Ice Cream Social in the Palace Courtyard

1-2:30pm
Sociedad Folklorico complement to the exhibition: Fashioning New Mexico

2:30-4pm:
Book signing and panel discussion of Telling New Mexico in the Museum Auditorium