“Look Ma, no wheels!” Protection and conservation of objects are two of the most important duties of any museum, and the NMHM is no exception. Earlier this week we worked with Dept of Cultural Affairs’s Museum Resources Division staff Tim Jag, David Levine, and Angela Duckwall to remove the damaged wheels off of our early 20th century hearse. A couple of special, large sized wrenches and a few tugs later, all of the wheels were safely and carefully removed. The wheels will be sent out for conservation – new rubber! – so we can safely move the hearse in the future and ensure its public enjoyment for years to come.
Please look out for our wheel-less hearse as it remains on exhibit in our current show, Looking Back: Reflecting on Collections, on view in the Herzstein Gallery. Look out for a future post in the next couple of months when we reattach the newly-treated wheels. You can also check out the hearse with its wheels in place in the virtual version of Looking Back.
For more information on the Looking Back exhibit which examines the nature of collections and collecting, check out this curator talk with Alicia Romero and Hannah Abelbeck.
Zozobra, a.k.a. Old Man Gloom, was first created by Santa Fe artist, Will Shuster, in 1924. The first public burning of Zozobra was held in a vacant lot behind the Santa Fe City Hall in Sept 3, 1926. Each year in early September, Old Man Gloom is burned to rid us of anguish, anxiety, and gloom, while commemorating the start of the Santa Fe Fiestas. Shuster’s creation first appeared in his backyard as a six-foot puppet. Over the years, Zozobra has grown to a monstrous fifty-foot high marionette.
Upon the reopening of the New Mexico History Museum, you can view the model of Zozobra on display in the exhibition “Looking Back.”
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, this year’s burning of Zozobra will be a no-crowd event held this evening at 8pm MDT. You can watch the burning on your television or go online at KOAT Channel 7, and at www.KOAT.com.