Palace of the Governors partial reopening set for June 26, 2021 with a new exhibit

Filled with more than 400 years of antiquity and culture, the New Mexico History Museum (NMHM) announces the opening of “Palace Seen and Unseen: A Convergence of History and Archaeology.” Set to debut June 26, 2021, this new exhibition explores the Palace of the Governors as a public building and a storied place.

Reflecting current archaeological and historical perspectives, “Palace Seen and Unseen” draws from historic documents, photographs, and archaeological and architectural studies produced by its former residents, visitors, stewards, and scholars. When the dynamic expertise of historians and archaeologists converges, a richer story and better understanding emerges. It is this integrative approach to what is seen and unseen that guides the themes explored by this exhibition. There is no better place for this to happen than at the Palace of the Governors.

Guest curators Cordelia (Dedie) Snow and Stephen (Steve) Post have nearly 50 years of combined experience with Palace architecture, history, and archaeology. Their firsthand experience excavating within the Palace walls and on its grounds provides a unique, expert perspective that visitors will appreciate.

“The Palace’s adobe architecture provides us with a unique backdrop to tell its 400-year story through the words, images, and objects of its many residents and visitors,” explain Snow and Post. “Just when you think you might be getting a handle on the archaeology or history of the Palace, something new crops up. Just as the puzzle always seems to be missing pieces, it grows even larger.”

All the archaeological objects selected were excavated by either Snow or Post and were dug up from Palace floors or the former Armory grounds – where the NMHM Domenici Building now stands.

“Palace Seen and Unseen” was originally scheduled to open in 2020. The exhibition will be on long-term view.

The Native American Artisans Portal Program Reopens June 11, 2021

Native American vendors under the portal of the Palace of the Governors. photo by Hannah Abelbeck

The New Mexico History Museum is pleased to announce that the renowned Native American Artisans Portal Program will reopen on Friday, June 11.

The program has been closed since March 12, 2020 as a result of the Covid pandemic. A reopening plan has been crafted in accordance with state public health orders and Covid-safe practices. Protecting the health of artisans and the public is a primary concern of the museum and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

All vendors will wear masks and will be separated from one another by at least six feet. To adjust for the increased spacing, vendors will be selling along Washington and Lincoln Avenues, as well as under the portal. Pedestrian traffic under the portal will be one-way, from west to east. Customers are encouraged to comply with state law regarding mask wearing. The Portal opens at 10:00 every day and closes at 3:00 although vendors may stay later.

1st Wednesday Lecture: Pueblo Sovereignty

In this talk, Rick Hendricks, ….and former New Mexico State Historian discusses the way in which Pueblo Indians have fought to preserve tribal sovereignty as it related to issues of land and water from the Spanish Colonial Period to the present day.

Case studies of five pueblos will be examined, four in New Mexico and one in Texas: Pojoaque, Nambe, Tesuque, Isleta, and Ysleta del Sur.

Rick Hendricks, is the New Mexico state records administrator. He is a former state historian and editor of the Vargas Project at the University of New Mexico. He has written extensively on the history of the American Southwest and Mexico. His most recent book, Pueblo Indian Sovereignty: Land and Water in New Mexico and Texas, was coauthored with Malcolm Ebright and published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2019.

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org.

Visit the history museum at nmhistorymuseum.org

1st Weds Lecture – Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets

Leah F. Tookey, Curator of History at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, joins us for our May lecture.

At the turn of the 20th century, most of the arid land east of Las Cruces, New Mexico was ranch land. Cattle, sheep, and goat ranches filled the Tularosa Basin, the Oscuro Range, and the surrounding countryside. Most of these ranches were small privately owned pieces of land supplemented by large parcels of federal and state property which ranchers leased for grazing purposes. These self-sufficient ranchers had maintained their homes for up to fi[y years, but events taking place halfway around the world would change their lives.

This is the story of the ranchers who were forced off their beloved land and the military and defense industry that would turn it into a military complex.

Leah F. Tookey is the Curator of History at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She earned a Master’s degree in Agricultural History and Rural Studies from Iowa State University. Her job at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum involves research and writing for exhibits, maintaining the Museum’s library and archives, and too many other jobs to mention. Last year Tookey curated an exhibit called Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets, which she will discuss in this lecture.

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org

Today in History: Billy the Kid’s Last Jailbreak

Billy the Kid


On this day in 1881, the renowned Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County jail in Lincoln, New Mexico.  Many have heard of The Kid, but not many know about his life story.   Most of his notoriety that grew into legendary proportions happened because of his numerous jailbreaks, and his accuracy in shooting, and illustrated stories that were published in dime novels popular in the day. In New Mexico, this was all a part of what became known as the Lincoln County War, where various merchants in the region vied for lucrative military contracts and their motley crew of employees, later glorified as Hollywood’s “Young Guns” were in frequent wild western gun battles.   In spring of  1881, toward the end of the Lincoln County War, William Bonney was jailed in Lincoln,  having been tried for the murder of Sheriff William Brady.  He would escape one last time from the courthouse jail on April 28th, killing Deputies JW Bell and R. Olinger on his way.  Billy headed out to lie low with friends near Fort Sumner.  It was in this area that a few short months later, Billy would meet his end when killed by the Sheriff Pat Garrett.

You can watch Billy the Kid related videos on our Youtube channel.

Today in History: Father José Manuel Gallegos

Palace of the Governors Photo Archives negative number #9982


A most interesting early civic leader of New Mexico was Father José Manuel Gallegos, whose life chronicles some amazing historical events.. He was born in Abiqiu in 1815, while Nuevo Mexico was still part of New Spain. He was ordained as a priest in 1840 after study in Durango, Mexico, and began serving a parish church in Albuquerque.  He then stood for election and served in the Mexican Legislative Assembly for the Department of Nuevo Mexico from 1843-1846, and then after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican American War and New Mexico became a US territory, Gallegos was elected to the first Territorial Council in 1851. That same year, following a power struggle between local priests and the new Archbishop Lamy, Gallegos devoted himself to government entirely after Lamy removed him from his church. By 1853, Gallegos won election to serve as territorial delegate to Congress in Washington DC.  He was elected to a second term, but his seat was contested, as was his loyalty to the United States, and it was claimed that he only had a majority of voters because of fraudulent Mexican voters. Voter fraud was never proven, but he was denied the election because of these claims and Gallegos came home to New Mexico.  He returned to the New Mexico territorial government, serving as a legislator, treasurer and other offices, and one more stint in Congress. 

He died in Santa Fe on April 21, 1875.   

Today in History: Black Sunday

 Dust storm, by Dorothea Lange, 1935. It was conditions of this sort which forced many farmers to abandon the area. Spring 1935. New Mexico | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

 All but forgotten today, dust storms hit New Mexico hard in the 1930’s.  The Depression was difficult enough, but the dust bowl covered large swaths of the eastern New Mexico plains, as well as the midwest.  Come explore our exhibits on the lower level where we explore the impact of the Depression and the severe weather phenomena on life and survival in New Mexico. in the 1930’s.  Dorothea Lange took the photograph above when she worked for the Farm Security Agency and wrote, “Dust storm. It was conditions of this sort which forced many farmers to abandon the area. Spring 1935. New Mexico,”    Image Courtesy of Library of Congress     

Read more here:: The Black Sunday Dust Storm of April 14, 1935.   And watch this short video: The Dust Bowl | Black Sunday | PBS
 

1st Wednesday Lecture: Hoofbeats Through History

This month, Cynthia Culbertson joins us to share the unique history of the horse in New Mexico.

When we think of New Mexico history we sometimes forget that the humans in the narrative have often been dependent on their equine companions. The influence of New Mexico on the history of the horse in the Americas is both fascinating and profound. From the pre-historic ancestors of the horse found here millions of years ago, the first horse breeding and racing in the Americas, the introduction of the horse to Native Americans and the subsequent development of some of the greatest horse cultures in history, New Mexico is arguably the most significant state when it comes to the history of the horse in the U.S. A horse lover since birth, Cynthia Culbertson is proud to have served as a consultant for multiple museum exhibitions featuring horses. She served as co-curator of an exhibition at the International Museum of the Horse featuring artifacts from 27 museums around the world, including such prestigious institutions as the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also served as a consultant for the equine components of many other projects, including a UNESCO World Heritage museum. Cynthia is the author of several books on the subject of Arabian horses and is a regular contributor to international equine media. She has been a lecturer in more than ten countries and has scripted and narrated multiple educational videos, including a New York Times Vision Award recipient. Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org

Marking NM’s Historic Women: Myrtle Attaway Farquhar

Photo Credit: https://econtent.unm.edu/digital/collection/Marmon/id/64/rec/2

Myrtle Attaway Farquhar (1900-1972)

Having arrived earlier from Texas with a Master’s degree and a dedication to teaching African-American students, Myrtle Attaway Farquhar accepted a position in 1943 at the segregated Booker T. Washington School in Hobbs. She inspired students to pursue higher education, and she and her husband helped finance 10 students through college. Myrtle was inducted into the Southeastern New Mexico Education Association Hall of Fame in 1969.

Roadside Marker Location: Lea County, Hobbs, NM Highway 18/ North Lovington Highway

You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.

You can view a map of the Historic Women Mile Markers at www.nmhistoricwomen.org

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Marking NM’s Historic Women: Eva Scott Fenyes, Leonara Scott Muse Curtin, Leonara Curtin Paloheimo

Photo Credit: https://womensinternationalstudycenter.org/acequia-madre-house/

Three Wise Women: Eva Scott Fenyes (1849–1930), Leonora Scott Muse Curtin (1879–1972), Leonora Curtin Paloheimo (1903–1999)

(SIDE 1) Three generations of one family worked more than 100 years to preserve the cultural heritage of New Mexico. Eva Fenyes created an artistic and photographic record of missions and adobe buildings, and preserved Spanish Colonial and Native American crafts. Leonora S. M. Curtin wrote Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande, which documented the ethnobotany of the region and the plants used by traditional healers. (SIDE 2) Leonora Curtin Paloheimo worked to preserve New Mexico’s varied cultures. She researched Native American languages for the Smithsonian. During the Depression, she founded The Native Market as an outlet for Spanish American artisans who handcrafted traditional furniture and household items. She and her Finnish husband, George Paloheimo, established New Mexico’s first living history museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, in 1972.

Roadside Marker Location: Santa Fe County, US I-25, Mile Marker 270

You can view a county by county list of the Historic Women Mile Markers in this pdf.

You can view a map of the Historic Women Mile Markers at www.nmhistoricwomen.org

March is Women’s History Month. During this month we’ll be highlighting some of the women featured on New Mexico’s Historic Women Roadside Markers. Text provided by our colleagues at New Mexico Historic Preservation Division