The Bourne identity
I enjoyed the article about the New Mexico History Museum’s Imagining Mexico exhibit in the Oct. 1 edition, which featured books, prints and maps from the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library. However, I found it remiss that, except for a small credit line under several of the photos, nowhere in the article was there any mention of John Bourne — the collector of and donor to the museum of the “world class” collection of rare books of Mesoamericana upon which this exhibition heavily draws.
In February 1946, John was an early explorer of then-obscure parts of Mexico — the rain forest of Chiapas — and with only one companion, was the first to explore Bonampak and to photograph and sketch some of the buildings. It was on the interior walls of one of these buildings that the great Mayan frescoes would be found just a few months later. He started collecting art and artifacts from the ancient Americas shortly after his Bonampak experiences. Objects from his collection were on view at the Palace of the Governors for 10 years.
This Santa Fe resident’s story certainly should be told.
Julianne E. Alderman Baltimore and Santa Fe