On Exhibit: Designs That Defined the Museum of New Mexico

On display through Jul 28, 2019

Santa Fe is widely recognized as a city of museums. These beloved institutions and their exhibitions have long been integral to the fabric of local culture. On Exhibit: Designs That Defined the Museum of New Mexico, presents a fascinating look back at more than a century of changing exhibition design in the historic state museum system. This “exhibit about exhibits” reveals how presentation techniques evolved and helped establish the unique character of the Santa Fe’s museums. While there have been thousands of exhibitions mounted in Santa Fe since the early days, most have been short-term engagements, coming and going so often that the public may not fully appreciate the immense body of work that has been presented over the years. On Exhibit shines a spotlight on those exhibition milestones and invites visitors to consider the importance of visual design in the public space.

On Exhibit celebrates Santa Fe’s long legacy of museum design by presenting a unique combination of historic photographs placed alongside reconstructed vignettes depicting early exhibition displays. Sections on design, production techniques, and tools of the trade highlight the creative talent and skill necessary for effective exhibits. Video interviews with museum staff, past and present, reveal behind-the-scenes stories about the Santa Fe museums not previously known. This installation includes examples from the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and selected New Mexico Historic Sites. 

On Exhibit: Designs That Defined the Museum of New Mexico shows that effective exhibition design is more than just arranging objects in a space. Design serves as the bridge between a curator’s scholarship and the visitor’s comprehension. At its best, exhibit design creates immersive environments that evoke curiosity, facilitate learning, and provide enjoyment for all visitors. 

Developed by the Exhibit Services team of Museum Resources, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. 

Contact: David Rohr, 505-476-1137

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