Quantcast
The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Loose murals: Maya-inspired décor in a Santa Fe museum

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 5:00 am

Did you ever wonder why one of the murals in the St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art shows a gang of ancient Maya men garbed in jaguar pelts and green quetzal feathers? The auditorium murals, Mayas and all, are intimately tied to the history of the building and to a few of the main players in the story of art and culture in Santa Fe a century ago.

Enter Edgar Lee Hewett, Southwestern archaeologist and founding director of both the School of American Archaeology and the Museum of New Mexico. In the fall of 1911, Hewett was approached by the San Diego businessman David Collier to organize exhibits for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915, planned to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. Among the attractions Hewett and his team eventually created were an Indian village staffed with actual Pueblo and Navajo families, a sham Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwelling, and anthropology exhibits that most famously featured several casts of colossal stone monuments from the Maya ruins of Quiriguá in Guatemala. Hewett also proposed a New Mexico building to highlight the state’s cultural resources. World’s fairs commonly featured exhibits and buildings sponsored by foreign countries, and those held in the U.S., beginning with the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, usually showcased the economic and cultural contributions of each U.S. state.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Settings

FOLLOW US

Advertisement