Mixed Media Fading Memories: Echoes of the Civil War at the New Mexico History Museum
In 1862 New Mexico was decades away from incorporation into the Union but, as a U.S. Territory, it was in a strategic position for Confederate forces seeking to cross it en route to California in a plot to seize seaports and goldfields. The plan failed, but not before battles were fought in Mesilla, Valverde, and Glorieta — which has been called “the Gettysburg of the West.” More than 350 Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives at the Battle of Glorieta. Confederate forces had to retreat from the region when their supply train was sabotaged. The New Mexico History Museum (113 Lincoln Ave., 505-476-5200) honors New Mexico’s role during the Civil War in the exhibition Fading Memories: Echoes of the Civil War in its mezzanine gallery. The show includes historic photographs of soldiers and their families, lithographs depicting Civil War battles, and other artwork. Among the objects featured is a tattered flag from the battle.
Fading Memories opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1, with a free reception. Entrance to the exhibit is by museum admission; the show hangs through Feb. 26, 2016, with associated events occurring throughout the year. The first is film editor Paul Barnes’ examination of Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary series, The Civil War, at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 8, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center (211 W. San Francisco St.). Barnes shows clips from the series and discusses efforts to remaster it for a new audience. The event is free, with a $10 suggested donation. At 2 p.m. on June 7, New Mexico State University history professor Dwight Pitcaithley lectures on “The Civil War Remembered: Slavery and Territory of New Mexico.” The talk, at the History Museum, is free with admission. Excerpts from the opera Cold Mountain by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon will be performed in the museum’s auditorium on July 26 at 4 p.m. The work, which was adapted from Charles Frazier’s novel of the same name, has its world premiere this season at Santa Fe Opera. Tickets are $15 in advance (call 505-986-5900) and $20 at the door. For a complete list of events related to Fading Memories, visit www.nmhistorymuseum.org.
— Michael Abatemarco
Artist unknown: The Fort Pillow Massacre (detail), 1892, lithograph; top, a 34-star Union flag, 1861