Designs That Define
An ‘exhibit about exhibits’ reveals the evolution of Santa Fe’s historic museums.
The New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is presenting a unique “exhibit about exhibits” beginning October 26 with On Exhibit: Designs That Defined the Museum of New Mexico.
The special exhibition will document the evolution of exhibits in Santa Fe’s many historic museums. It will track how presentation techniques changed as well as design elements within gallery spaces.
The exhibition will feature a unique combination of historic photographs placed alongside reconstructed vignettes depicting early exhibit displays. There will also be thematic sections on graphic design, production techniques and tools of the trade that highlight the creative talent and skill required for effective exhibits. Video interviews with museum staff from the past and present will reveal behind-thescenes stories about the Santa Fe museums not previously known. The installation will include 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. The exhibition was developed by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
On Exhibit: Designs That Defined the Museum of New Mexico continues through August 31, 2019. For more information visit www.newmexicoculture.org.
New Mexico Historical Society, early exhibition space in the east rooms of the Palace of the Governors. ca.19151925. Established decades prior to the 1909 founding of the Museum of New Mexico, this was the first public exhibition space in New Mexico. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, NMHM, DCA, 001487.
Hall of Ethnology exhibit space, 1942. Opened in 1941, the Hall of Ethnology occupied the Old Armory Building on Washington Avenue until the late 1970s. This longterm exhibition space adjacent to the Palace of the Governors has nearly faded from public memory. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, NMHM, DCA, 132068.
The Artists Record: The Western Scene, 1965. New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts, An exhibition of paintings from the museum’s permanent collection. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, NMHM, DCA, 138890.