The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs looks forward to welcoming the public back to our museums and historic sites in the near future!
Please check our social media or our website often for an announcement regarding our reopening plans, and to continue exploring our online programs. In the meantime, we are working diligently to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff by preparing our facilities. We will see you soon!
Swiss made, hunter case, key wind pocket watch, c. 1850-1890. Manufactured by Moulinie, Geneva, possibly Moulinie and Legrandroy. The pocket watch has an 18 K gold case with blue enameled front and back, and seed pearl decoration. Full jeweled works on the interior. The original owner of this pocket watch was a woman and so the watch has been identified as a woman’s watch, but for the most part pocket watches were not made specifically for men or for women. However, women usually gravitated toward the smaller sized pocket watches. This one is small at 1 ½” in diameter. This pocket watch can be seen on exhibit in Telling New Mexico. NMHM/DCA 2825.45a-b
In 1907, children roller skating on sidewalks became a huge issue for the people of Las Vegas, NM. It even sparked debate in the city council.
One letter writer to the Las Vegas Daily Optic asked, “If the children roller skate, why do they do any more harm than the baby buggies and go-carts? Why not make the women go out in the street and wheel their babies there? And I wonder if the mayor and the city council were ever children. And why don’t New York, Chicago and St. Louis, Kansas City and even Albuquerque make them stop skating? Because they like to see the children have fun, and why don’t Las Vegas?”
Another citizen wrote that “It must be a pretty, crusty old curmudgeon who would seek to prevent the harmless amusement the children have been extracting from roller skating.”
Surely, these late 19th century Smith & Griggs Manufacturing Co. roller skates, made of metal, wood, and cast iron, saw many good times on the feet of Josefita “Pepe” Manderfield when she was a child in Santa Fe.
When the railroad came to New Mexico in 1879, it brought thousands of job opportunities for local people from rural villages, reservations, and larger towns. In addition to the homegrown workforce, the railroad also brought immigrant Chinese, European, and Mexican laborers to our state. The workforce included women and people of color, immigrants and Native Americans, young and old.
Told through historic and contemporary images from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives and the The Library of Congress, “Working on the Railroad” fosters appreciation for these people—the steel gangs and machinists, car cleaners and conductors—included in the story of how the railroad changed New Mexico. Along with the photographs, artifacts such as oversized machinist’s wrenches, early twentieth-century railroad lanterns, brass locks, and railroad tie dating nails help the visitor imagine what it was like working on the railroad.
“My parents were the grandchildren of the founders of Wagon Mound, New Mexico. My Chavez grandfather was brought as a child from Belen. My mother’s side were Roybals from the Jacona district. Again, her father was brought as a child to Wagon Mound. I was born in 1910, exactly nine months after they were married–to the day. There were ten children in all.”
Virtual Indian Market August 1-31, 2020 At: swaia.org
The largest and most definitive annual event for Native American artists continues virtually this August 2020. The Southwest Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) has taken up the monumental task of creating an online market for over four-hundred Native artists that will show and sell their works to a National and International audience. SWAIA’s nearly one-hundred-year mission of bringing Native arts to the world, connects New Mexico with Native Nations throughout the United States and Canada, and visitors from around the world.
Additional annual events will be conducted virtually as well, such as the juried competition for Grand Award (formerly known as “Best in Show”), the Native Fashion Show, and virtual talks with SWAIA artists. From August 1 -31, 2020, visitors to the website can buy directly from artists and virtually attend events during this year’s month-long Indian Market at swaia.org.
Our very own curator of Southwestern History, Cathy Notarnicola has served on SWAIA’s juries for many years. This year, Cathy was involved as a juror for the market’s textile class, or category. Stay tuned for as we will feature her thoughts on serving as a “virtual” juror in an upcoming post.
Today, August 10, is the anniversary of the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. To observe Pueblo Independence Day 2020, New Mexico Historic Sites, particularly the Jemez, Coronado and Los Luceros sites are joining together to create a program of related video content.
Part of this program includes a video talk given by Matthew Barbour highlighting the religious and political context that led up to the revolt.
Spanish Playing Cards, late 1800s This deck of Spanish playing cards was donated to the New Mexico History Museum by Josefita Manderfield Otero.
Originally of Chinese origin, playing cards were adopted in Mamluk Egypt by the 14th century and then spread to the Iberian Peninsula in the latter part of that century. By 1380 naipero (card-maker), was a recognized profession. The four suits are bastos (clubs), oros (gold coins), copas (cups), and espadas (swords). Spanish suited cards are used in Spain, Southern Italy, France, Latin America, North Africa and the Philippines. Unlike the suits found in Northern Italy, the swords on Spanish cards are straight, and the clubs are knotty instead of being depicted as ceremonial batons. Several of the cards from this deck can be seen in the History Museum’s exhibition, Telling New Mexico.
Shave permit pins from the Teddy Roosevelt Centennial celebrations in Las Vegas, NM (1958), and a shave permit from the Clovis, NM 50th anniversary celebration, 1957. Shaving permit pins such as these were sold as a way to raise money for centennial or anniversary celebrations in many towns across the country. As part of the fundraising effort, citizens could register for a beard-growing contest. If someone did not want to participate in the contest, they could purchase a “shave permit.” This jokingly gave one “permission to shave.” The proceeds from the sale of the permits and registration fees for the contests were put towards the town’s celebration fund. Why a beard-growing contest? Often, the Brothers of the Brush would spearhead the fundraising efforts. This organization got its name because they sought to emulate the towns’ founders. Many of the towns were founded in the Victorian period when beards and mustaches were in vogue. The Brothers of the Brush decided to capitalize on this look and encouraged beard-growing as a way to raise money. NMHM/DCA 11501.45 and 2014.53.159