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