History Makes the Cut!
A Pair of 18th-Century Scissors Will Help
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 History Museum
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/).
Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006