Programs & Services

New Mexico History Museum

Fractured Faiths and Preserving Cultural Identity

Saltcellar: Valencia, Spain; 14th century, Collection of the Ayuntami ento de Va lencia. From the exhibition: Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities at the New Mexico History Museum.

Convert to Catholicism. Get out of the country. Or face the consequences.

What would you do if an edict like that was enforced? Would you leave everyone and everything, and set out on a treacherous journey across land and sea toward an uncertain future in an unfamiliar land?

In the tenth and eleventh centuries, Spain flowered in a golden age, as Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic peoples achieved new heights in science, philosophy, and the arts. Four centuries later, that vaunted triculturalism had deteriorated into dissent, segregation, and riots.

By 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella unified Spain under the Catholic crown, unleashing cultural chaos. A royal edict ordered all Jews to either leave the country or convert to Catholicism within four months — or else. Violators were thrown in prison, tortured, and killed by the Spanish Inquisition (and later, the Portuguese and Mexican Inquisitions).

A Star of David carved into a tombstone in a Catholic cemetery; oral histories with tangled roots; Hispanic villages with families of Jewish lineage; these are modern-day remnants of the struggle to preserve the cultural identity of Jews forced out of their homeland.

Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition, and New World Identities tells the comprehensive story of how Spain’s Jewry found a tenuous foothold in North America — sometimes as upright Catholic conversos, sometimes as self-identifying “Crypto-Jews.”

Fractured Faiths tells the global story that played out on New Mexico soil. Reuniting Spanish artifacts with their New World counterparts, Fractured Faiths is a compelling chronicle of human tenacity and the power of cultural identity. Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, the Inquisition, and New World Identities is on display at the History Museum through December 31, 2016.

The New Mexico History Museum is open Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–

5 p.m. Admission $7 for New Mexico residents. $12 for non-residents, free for children 6 and under. The first Sunday of each month is free for NM residents with ID. Wednesdays are free for NM resident seniors (60+) with ID.                                                                     

Also at the History Museum:

Through March 5, 2017: Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico;

Through October 7, 2017: Out of the Box: The Art of the Cigar.

New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe
505-475-5200 |

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

Here, Now and Always

Here, Now, and Always is a major exhibition based on eight years of collaboration among Native American elders,
more »

The Massacre of Don Pedro Villasur

This exhibition features 23 original graphic history art works by Santa Fe-based artist Turner Avery Mark-Jacobs. This
more »

Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico

The exhibition Música Buena: The exhibition will focus on the rich history of traditional Hispano music from the
more »

Community through Making From Peru to New Mexico

Community through Making brings together local and Peruvian artists to explore how art shapes healthy and vibrant
more »