If You Construct It . . . – Views from the Artist’s Highway

If You Construct It . . .

Views from The Artist’s Highway


Photograph of the New Mexico Museum of Art ca. 1921

The New Mexico Museum of Artwork -photograph ca. 1921

Portrait of the Artist, ca. 1910, Donald Beauregard   While lately spending time in Santa Fe, we had the chance to go to an exhibition on the New Mexico Museum of Artwork titled “An American in Paris: Donald Beauregard”. Beauregard was one of many first artists affiliated with the Museum, however tragically died on the age of 29. (We’ll write extra about Beauregard and his work shortly.)

   The story of the founding of the Museum can be an fascinating one. It happened as an orchestrated try to deliver again the steep financial decline of Santa Fe. The railroad (named after the city) had bypassed its namesake, going as an alternative to Albuquerque, delivering a growth to Albuquerque and a blow to Santa Fe.

   There was skepticism about the potential for artwork enjoying a significant position in bringing Santa Fe again. “The folks on this a part of the nation have about as a lot use for an artist as their burros have for a fiddler’s midsummer night time’s dream,” wrote artist Carlos Vierra in 1904. However mover and shaker Edgar Lee Hewett persevered together with his plan, consulting with well-known artist, Robert Henri, after serendipitously assembly him on the 1915 Panama-California Worldwide Exhibition.

   Hewett first renovated the traditional Palace of the Governors and held an artwork exhibition of Williams Rolllins’s work there. Free studios for artists have been supplied within the Palace, bringing in artists from exterior the world to expertise and paint the distinctive landscapes, cultures and intense mild. Some got here for the air. Known as “lungers”, they’d respiration illnesses akin to tuberculosis, and had been prescribed the medication of clear, dry air by medical doctors.

   After statehood was given to New Mexico in 1912, Hewett proposed a brand new, bigger constructing for exhibitions and studio house. On November 24, 1917, the New Mexico Museum opened its doorways. It has been not solely a house for work by artists coming to New Mexico, but additionally an exploration of the cultural identification of the world by means of the works of indigenous artists.

   It really was the spark that ignited the Santa Fe arts colony. The constructing itself (designed by Isaac Rapp) is taken into account to be a merging of Native American and Spanish Colonial designs, referred to as Pueblo Revival Model, and is predicated on a number of mission church buildings within the space.

The New Mexico Museum of Artwork in Santa Fe

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