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Paul Pletka: Converging Faiths in the New World
April 13 – October 20, 2019
Josef B. Diaz, Chief Curator | Jana Gottshalk, Curator
Paul Pletka: Converging Faiths in the New World brings together approximately fifteen paintings that focus on Christian saints and the indigenous depictions of gods of North and South America. Paired with historical material culture, Pletka’s paintings conjure scenes from the cultures, history, and religions of the American Southwest and the Pre-Hispanic cultures of the New World.

Paul Pletka: Converging Faiths in the New World Press Release
Trade & Trails
Long term exhibition
Trade Items from all parts of the Spanish world found their way to the far northern frontier of New Spain, now New Mexico. These items were essential to the development of the arts in New Mexico, whether as material for the artists to work with or as inspiration for their creativity.

The exhibition Trade & Trails discusses and illustrates some of the numerous objects that traveled these trails to the far northern frontier, as well as objects that were traded from the Native communities around the Spanish settlements. From the Manila Galleons, the Camino Real, and the Santa Fe Trail, Spanish settlers were well-supplied with ideas for their artistic output from items such as prints, sculptures and paintings, and textiles. Tools and materials with which to create their art included items as diverse as hacksaws, sheet tin, fine woven fabrics, and iron. Trade with Native American communities clearly shows cross-cultural influences, as in the religious paintings on hides tanned by Plains Indians and used as canvas by Pueblo Indians painting for the Franciscan friars.

Outside and adjacent to the museum building are the visible ruts of the Santa Fe Trail (with labels provided by the National Park Service) that help to illustrate the arduous journey traveled by intrepid settlers, merchants and entrepreneurs throughout the colonial period and into the 20th century.
Selections from the Beltrán-Kropp Collection of
Peruvian Colonial Art

Highlighted in this gallery are Spanish colonial objects from the remarkable collection of Pedro Beltrán and Miriam Kropp Beltrán, donated to the Society in 2012, through the hard work and foresight of Francis Haas Musselman. Among the objects on long-term exhibition are an impressive reverse-painted glass frame and painting of the Madonna and Child from the Cajamarca region of Peru, several extraordinary works of intricate silver filigree, and a rare and beautiful 18th century marquetry jewelry box.

Please click on the link below for more information regarding each of the items in the Beltrán- Kropp Collection.
The Beltrán-Kropp Art Collection from Peru Online Exhibition
The Delgado Room
Based on the will and estate inventory of trader and merchant Don Manuel Delgado (d. 1815), this room is filled with objects from around the world that found their way up the Camino Real to New Mexico. Chinese porcelains, Spanish and Mexican talavera, silver from Puebla, and painted wooden chests from Michoacán, were all pieces that could be found side by side with New Mexican-made colcha embroideries, trasteros, bancos and santos in the homes of nuevomexicanos.
Youth Gallery
Mentored by adult artists, the artists of the Youth Market carry on the traditional art forms into the future. These remarkable youth create silver jewelry, colorful textiles, tin frames, bultos, retablos and more. Also featured is the video, Nine Hispanic Artists, that shows contemporary artists demonstrating the creation of each of the traditional art forms found in Spanish Market.

Youth Artist Poster Award Recipient The First to Greet the Stranger, the Animals Around the Manger 2015 by Nicolas Sosaya Halford (age 13) 2015 Spanish Market Youth Artist Poster Award Recipient

GenNext: Future So Bright REBOOT
May 4, 2018 - March 29, 2019
Jana Gottshalk, Curator
GenNext: Future So Bright examines the future of New Mexico’s traditional arts, including artists who work with traditional materials or are inspired by historical techniques. Each artist is rooted in tradition, but has introduced their own unique element, exploring new materials such as street signs, stencil work, or new themes such as politics or indigenous imagery. Each artist brings a new and interesting perspective on colonial art; creating new and exciting art works that echo tradition and predict a bright future for the arts in New Mexico. 

GenNext Press Release
GenNext Reboot Press Release
Time Travelers: and the Saints go Marching on
November 11, 2017 - April 20, 2018
Jana Gottshalk, Curator
Time Travelers: And the Saints go Marching on explores the enduring imagery of Christian Saints as subject matter for New Mexico's artists. The exhibition takes a closer look at how the portrayal of a Saint can change throughout time, and how many aspects remain the same.

By juxtaposing historical and contemporary pieces of identical subject matter, we can better understand the aspirations of the past, and the natural progression and evolution of art produced in New Mexico. Saints are the ultimate time travelers as they exist both in the past and present.
In the Spirit of Frida
May 6, 2017 - October 29,2017
Diego on My Mind by Spanish Market Artist, Arthur Lopez

“Innovation within Tradition” is a juried category at the annual Traditional Spanish Market, held every summer on Santa Fe’s plaza. Artists juried into this category were invited to submit works “In the Spirit of Frida.” The artists whose works are represented here clearly draw upon their strong foundation in the traditional arts of New Mexico, but their creative impulse has led them to experiment with new materials, subject matter and design. Luis Tapia, who participated in Spanish Market in the mid 1970s, was one of the first nuevomexicano artists to challenge the boundaries between traditional and contemporary art and to take his work in the direction of political, social and religious commentary. The works in this gallery beautifully illustrate the fluidity between tradition and innovation, as well as being a remarkable tribute to Frida as an icon and an artist.
De Colores by Spanish Market Artist, Jean Anaya Moya

Behind the Curtain by Spanish Market Artist, Teresa May Duran

Frida: The Seasons of Her Life by Spanish Market Artist, Ruben Gallegos

En Honor de Frida Kahlo en el dia cinco del mes del Mayo de 1998 by Spanish Market Artist, Luis Tapia

That Which Does Not Kill Me by Spanish Market Artist, Nic Otero

La Reina de Coyoacán Azteca by Spanish Market Artist, Charlie Sanchez

Reflejo y Reflexión Front View by Spanish Market Artist, Cleo Romero

Reflejo y Reflexión Back View by Spanish Market Artist, Cleo Romero

Untitled by Spanish Market Artist, Jacobo de la Serna

Untitled by Spanish Market Artist, Mel Rivera

Private Tours
Price: $1000 per tour

Private Tours led by Guest Curator Penelope Hunter-Stiebel or Executive Director David Setford of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. Fifteen people maximum. Tours are subject to availability. Call to inquire about additional lunch or reception with the Director. Contact: David Setford at 505-982-2226 ext 108 or Valerie Kendall at 505-982-2226 ext 106
Mirror, Mirror: Photographs of Frida Kahlo
May 6, 2017 - October 29,2017
Penelope Hunter-Siebel, Guest Curator
On loan from Throckmorton Fine Art, New York
The exhibition “Mirror, Mirror… Photographs of Frida Kahlo” traces the artist’s life in more than 50 images by outstanding photographers including Lola and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Imogen Cunningham, Carl Van Vechten, and Nickolas Muray. Visitors will follow Frida from a self-possessed adolescent to a passionate wife and lover, an independent artist, fashion icon and object of cult-like reverence.

Kahlo learned the power of the medium as a teenager assisting her father, a well known photographer, in the dark room. She used the camera in the hands of photojournalists, friends and lovers, to record her passion for her husband, the great muralist Diego Rivera, to her agonizing physical decline. In the process she defined the image that would be the principle subject of her own art.

The photography exhibition originated at Throckmorton Fine Art, New York. For the Santa Fe venue the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art has added a selection of large scale photographs by William Frej conveying the ambiance of the Casa Azul, the Kahlo family home and now the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, and a group of works created in homage to Frida by innovative artists from Santa Fe’s Spanish Market.

“Frida Kahlo, known for her paintings, was no stranger to the camera. She was one of the most photographed women of her generation, emanating her sensuality, personal fashion and unique beauty….” The Washington Post

Love Letters to Frida

The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project (MPPP) is pleased to announce our 2017 summer fundraiser, Nacha Mendez performs: Love Letter to Frida.

Accompanied by cellist Chase Morrison and violinists Sitara Schauer and Carla Kountoupes, Nacha Mendez will perform a music and spoken word homage to Frida Kahlo. Fifteen letters were commissioned from around the world after Nacha embarked on a creative journey to discover why the singer Chavela Vargas would burn all the letters Frida Kahlo had sent to her. What volatile emotion drives someone to sever ties, get rid of any evidence of a relationship, and yet still call it love?

To purchase tickets and learn more click Love Letters to Frida
From New Spain to New Art: Recent Acquisitions
November 11, 2016 - April 3, 2017
Saint Joseph, Bulto, Artist Uknown, Mexico, 18th Century, Wood, fabric, gesso, gold leaf, paint, glass, hair
Gift of Barbara and Gary Ames 2015.057
This exhibition highlights exciting and important new additions to the collections of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. Principal among these are 14 award-winning pieces from Spanish Market 2016, purchased with the help of several generous donors. These works include the Best of Show—a stunning crucifix by Joseph Ascensión López inspired by a colonial work; the Curator’s Award winner— Cruising Heaven, by Gustavo Victor Goler, a contemporary twist on the Holy Family; the Utilitarian and Collaboration award-winning piece—a sewing box (almohadilla) of delicately carved wood with complementary colcha-embroidered pin cushion and decoration, by Federico Prudencio and Annette Gutiérrez-Turk; and first-place prize winning pieces in ceramics, precious metals, textiles, colcha, and tinwork. The works illustrate a great diversity in art forms and media as well as the skill and creativity of individual artists working in materials as diverse as delicate silver filigree and large-scale furnishings.

An image of La Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows) stands out among the six remarkable colonial paintings, four from New Spain and two from Alto Peru, on view. Signed by the celebrated 18th century Mexican painter Miguel Cabrera, the painting of Our Lady is an expertly executed oil on copper panel that shows off the artist’s masterly handling of paint and brush. Painter to the archbishop, Cabrera (1695-1768) was responsible for many of the altar screens in the churches of Mexico City, and was one of the elite group of five painters selected by the Archbishop to examine the tilma of (recently canonized) Saint Juan Diego on which appeared the miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Another outstanding painting executed in a more regional style depicts several scenes from the life of Samson, known for his great strength and his heroic battles against the Philistines. A scene of the Poisoning of St. Benedict appears to be the work of a 17th century taller (workshop), possibly that of José Juárez, a member of the influential colonial Rodríguez-Juárez family of artists. St. Benedict’s face is beautifully and expressively rendered, revealing the sorrow and disappointment brought about by his betrayal. These and other paintings are complemented by a beautiful 18th century estofado (gilded and painted) sculpture of St. Joseph, an ornately decorated stamped leather chest created by Frank Erpelding-Chacón and René Zamora and a delicate straw appliqué cross by Krissa López.

Other contemporary artists included in the exhibition are Alfred Blea, Monica Sosaya Halford, Cruz López, Onofre Lucero, Nicolás Madrid, Rachael Roybal-Montoya, Nicolás Otero, Felipe Rivera, Cleo Romero, Arlene Cisneros Sena, Lisa Trujillo, and Nina Arroyo Wood.

The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art was established in 2002 by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society to showcase its collections of over 3500 colonial and contemporary works. The focus of its collection is the traditional art of Hispanic New Mexico, Spain and other Spanish colonies from the colonial period up until today. The Society and the Museum help to preserve, promote, and educate the public about the colonial art of New Mexico and beyond and its related cultures and living traditions.
Chimayó: A Pilgrimage through Two Centuries Through April 2017
A small village in northern New Mexico, not even large enough to have been incorporated, draws some 300,000 visitors a year, 30,000 of those during Semana Santa. These visitors are headed to the single-most visited pilgrimage site in America—the Santuario de Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas, better known as the Santuario de Chimayó. The Santuario was constructed in 1816, built and adorned with care by some of the most skilled carpinteros and santeros in the region. For two centuries, art and faith have endured, changed, and blossomed in the community of Chimayó. While the Santuario sustained the spiritual growth of Chimayó, weaving sustained its economic growth. Home to the famous Chimayó blanket, the story of the evolution of this particular textile is one of the impact of the industrial age on the farms, homes, and ranches of rural villages. Beginning with homemade wooden looms and handspun and dyed wools that were used to create blankets, jerga (yardage) and sayal (sackcloth) for utilitarian purposes, the weavers of Chimayó and their vendors transformed their weaving tradition into a formidable cottage industry that supported much of the population through the years of the great depression. Today Chimayó is home to some of the most celebrated tapestry weavers in the country. They and their neighbors continue to build upon the textile tradition begun by their antepasados. Photo by Norman Mauskopf
Blue on Blue: Indigo and Cobalt in New Spain
Through February 28, 2016

Blue on Blue explores the use and importance of blue dyes and pigments in colonial life in New Mexico and New Spain. From images of the Virgin Mary to household blankets, ceramics and friar’s habits, blue was an integral part of the colonial world. The desire for blue-and-white ceramics led to nearly 300 years of production for the workshops of New Spain that joined cobalt blue with a mayólica glaze to imitate Chinese porcelains. Indigo was widely used by weavers and was the prominent color in most colonial Hispanic textiles, and was traded to the Navajo for use in their weavings. The pervasive popularity of blue over the centuries is reflected in a diverse array of stunning pieces.

Blue on Blue: INDIGO AND COBALT IN NEW SPAIN Online Exhibition
A World of Art
Although geographically remote, colonial and 19th century New Mexican artists did not work in a vacuum. Statues and paintings from Mexico and South America, silver from Bolivia, hair combs from Spain, reliquaries from New Spain—all of these items were brought to New Mexico by Spanish settlers and used as models and inspiration for the artists of New Mexico. This gallery shows the connections to be found among art forms throughout the Spanish colonial world and that continue today.
Starry Night
Members’ Opening Reception, Friday, November 6, 5-7pm.
Public opening Saturday, November 7
Lecture by Glynn Gomez, 2pm, by Museum admission "Glynn Gomez and the Quest for Starry Night"
Since 1969, artist Glynn Gomez has painstakingly assembled a magical Christmas Nativity pageant with wood carvings in the Córdova style. Using birds, rabbits, bears, oxen, and donkeys as narrators, the Nativity unfolds and the story of Christmas comes alive heralded by angels. Artists whose work is represented in the exhibition include Lawrence Baca, Gloria López Córdova, Raphael López Córdova, Sammy Córdova, Cordelia López, Orlinda López, Ricardo T. López, Eurgencio López, Floyd Lucero, Sandra López Martínez, Christina Mouller, Ben Ortega, Sabinita López Ortiz, James Sánchez, Tom L. Sena, and Raymond Valdez. Mr. Gomez has generously agreed to loan his creation to the Museum for us all to enjoy over the holiday season. Through February 28, 2016.

Tradición, Devoción y Vida: 80 Years of Black and White Photography in New Mexico and Mexico
Featuring black and white photographs from the collection of Anne and William Frej
Through February 28, 2016

This exhibition, largely drawn from the holdings of local collectors William and Anne Frej, highlights the works of some of the greatest modernist and twentieth century photographers to have worked in New Mexico and Mexico. It includes modernists such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, John Collier, Laura Gilpin, Marianna Yampolsky and Myron Wood. In addition to these, highly important and more contemporary photographers such as David Michael Kennedy, Norman Mauskopf, Miguel Gandert, Sebastião Salgado, Graciela Iturbide, Humberto Suaste, Alicia Ahumada, Antonio Turok and Nancy Hunter Warren are also included.

For more information please contact David Setford, Director, Spanish Colonial Arts Society,