Jemez Historic Site

The annual Light Among the Ruins Christmas Celebration

The magical season has arrived in the City Different. While museums and historical sites may be a bit less crowded at this time of year, the quality of exhibits remains high, and holiday activities for the entire family abound. For those looking to finish their holiday shopping, museum gift shops offer tax-free treasures, and Museum of New Mexico Foundation members also receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases.

Listed below are the museum and historical site highlights for this holiday season. Check organizations’ websites for updates, plus information on lectures at the Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the New Mexico History Museum. 

Dec. 7, 1-4 p.m. Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. Winter Traditions, a community holiday celebration, features Native American storytelling, dance performances and hands-on activities for the whole family. Sundays free for New Mexico residents with ID; regular admission fee for others.

Dec. 7, 1-4 p.m. Museum of International Folk Art. The museum’s Winter Celebration provides art-making activities for all ages, with music and refreshments. Sundays free for New Mexico residents with ID; regular admission fee.

Dec. 7, 2-4 p.m. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Attend the opening of a new exhibit, Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy, which focuses on the influence of the company that served passengers on many railways across the West. Refreshments served. Sundays free for New Mexico residents with ID; regular admission fee for others.

Dec. 7, 5-8:30 p.m. Coronado Historic Site. The site is decorated for the holidays with hundreds of farolitos and thousands of Christmas lights. Children, with the help of kindly elves, will make their own Christmas tree ornaments in Santa’s workshop. Music, traditional Pueblo dancing, Native American storytelling and refreshments of the season round out the evening’s activities. Free.

Dec. 12,5:30-8 p.m. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. The 30th anniversary of the eagerly awaited Christmas at the Palace. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand, along with refreshments, live music, piñatas, craft-making activities and an antique printing press. Free.

Dec. 13 and 14,10 a.m.-4 p.m. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. The annual Young Native Artists’ Holiday Show and Sale features children and grandchildren of the Palace Portal artisans, who will show and sell their own creations in the Meem Community Room and History Museum classroom. Free.

Dec. 13, 5-9 p.m. Jemez Historic Site. The annual Light Among the Ruins: Christmas Celebration illuminates the ancient pueblo’s pathways with hundreds of farolitos. Jemez Pueblo members will present traditional Native American flute music and dancing between two bonfires, weather permitting. Free horse-drawn wagon rides will be available from Jemez Springs Park to the Jemez Historic Site, where refreshments await. Free.

Dec. 14, 5:30-7 p.m. New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. The traditional candlelit procession known as Las Posadas follows Mary and Joseph around the Plaza as they search for lodging, concluding in the Palace Courtyard with carols and refreshments. Free.

Dec. 21,

1-4 p.m. New Mexico Museum of Art. Annual Holiday Open House presents puppet plays, featuring the Gustave Baumann Marionettes; photos with the Santa Claus marionette; art projects; music; and refreshments. Free.

Dec. 30, 1-4 p.m. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. This year’s Holiday Family Program is “New Mexico Holiday!” welcoming kids ages 4 and older. Make traditional ornaments, farolitos and New Mexico-inspired cards and flip books. Free.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum The exhibit Miguel Covarrubias: Drawing a Cosmopolitan Line examines the artist’s contribution to the history of modern art. Ghost Ranch Views presents O’Keeffe’s iconic paintings from her time at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiú. 

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Exhibits include Rattlebone, paintings and related works by Ric Gendron; BREACH: LOG 14, a mixed-media exploration by Courtney M. Leonard; The Desert Never Left the “City,” Mario Martinez; Saligaaw (it is loud-voiced), Da-ka-xeen Mehner; and Spiral Lands/Chapter 2, 2008, a slide and sound installation by Andrea Geyer.

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture Enjoy six exhibits at this Museum Hill location: Footprints: The Inspiration and Influence of Allan Houser; Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and Its Meaning; Native American Portraits: Points of Inquiry; Heartbeat: Music of the Native Southwest; plus two on long-term display — The Buchsbaum Gallery of Southwestern Pottery and Here, Now and Always.

Museum of International Folk Art This colorful museum offers a variety of exhibits: Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience; Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico, featuring the Hispano folk art of animal woodcarving; Brasil & Arte Popular, including more than 350 pieces from the museum’s rich Brazilian collection; and Pottery of the U.S. South: A Living Tradition, focusing on traditional stoneware from North Carolina and northern Georgia.

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art Ongoing exhibits include Filigree and Finery: The Art of Adornment in New Mexico; Secrets of the Symbols: The Hidden Language in Spanish Colonial Art; Conexiones: The Delgado Room and A World of Art; Early 20th-Century Artists of New Mexico; and Window on Lima: The Beltrán-Kropp Collection.

New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors Exhibits include Gustave Baumann and Friends: Artist Cards From Holidays Past; Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World; Toys and Games: A New Mexico Childhood; and Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography. On long-term display are Santa Fe Found: Fragments of Time, the archaeological and historical roots of America’s oldest capital city; Telling New Mexico: Stories From Then and Now; Treasures of Devotion/Tesoros de Devoción; and Segesser Hide Paintings.

New Mexico Museum of Art Exhibits include Hunting + Gathering: New Additions to the Museum’s Collection; Focus on Photography; The Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, 2014; Alcove Shows 1917-1927, the first 10 years of the museum’s exhibitions; Spotlight on Gustave Baumann; and New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History.

Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts View Harvesting Traditions, a one-woman show by Jemez Pueblo potter/sculptor Kathleen Wall.

SITE Santa Fe SITElines: New Perspectives on Art of the Americas is a six-year project of linked biennial exhibitions. The first and current exhibit, Unsettled Landscapes, explores contemporary art from Nunavut to Tierra del Fuego.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian Diné photographer Will Wilson is featured in this impressive exhibition of his images.

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