State Museums and Historic Sites Reopen in the Santa Fe Area
September 23rd, 2020
The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) announces that state museums and historic sites will reopen on Thursday, September 24. Santa Fe area DCA facilities include Los Luceros in Acalde, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill, and New Mexico History Museum and New Mexico Museum of Art on the Plaza. Each facility will operate at 25% of normal occupancy, with modified hours.
Each of the Santa Fe area facilities offers visitors an opportunity to experience a unique piece of New Mexico culture. Most permanent and temporary exhibits spaces are open to visitors.
Los Luceros Historic Site, one of New Mexico’s most scenic and historically significant properties, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, closed Monday through Wednesday. Visitors can enjoy 148-acres, including the visitor center, historic structures, walking trails, and an outdoor animal area with churro sheep and goats. The 121-person occupancy limit will allow visitors plenty of space to enjoy this unique northern New Mexico property.
Located on Museum Hill, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) is the premier repository of Native art and material culture, telling the stories of the people of the Southwest from pre-history through contemporary art. MIAC is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on Monday. Available exhibitions include “Diego Romero vs. the End of Art,” a dynamic exploration of a Cochiti Pueblo artist’s journey through life, as depicted through his work. The public can also enjoy “San Ildefonso Pottery: 1600 – 1930,” an examination of ceramic practices over three centuries centered on refocusing San Ildefonso’s cultural and artistic histories through their own perspectives. Extended closing dates will allow visitors to enjoy both of these exhibits upon reopening.
Next door to MIAC is the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA), open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed on Monday. MOIFA has several interesting temporary exhibits available for visitors, such as “From Combat to Carpet: The Art of Afghan War Rug,” a traveling exhibition featuring more than 40 handwoven rugs with war-related iconography collected during the past four decades. “Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan” was only on display for a few weeks when museums shut down, but now visitors can once again enjoy this ghastly and comical exhibition. Yôkai is a catchall word that generally refers to demons, ghosts, shapeshifters, and “strange” and supernatural beings. “Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico” focuses on the rich history of traditional Hispano music, from the arrival of the Spanish through the present. “Multiple Visions: A Common Bond” is one of MOIFA’s long-term displays. With more than 10,000 objects to see from around the world, this exhibition continues to enchant museum visitors, staff, and patrons.
New Mexico History Museum (NMHM), located in downtown Santa Fe, is excited to once again share our state’s rich history with visitors. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. Available exhibitions include “Looking Back: Reflecting on Collections,” which focuses on the rich culture of the many objects that are housed at NMHM. “Working on the Railroad” celebrates the railroad history of New Mexico and the people who worked on it toward the end of the 19th century. Along with historic photos, this exhibition includes artifacts that give people an idea of what it was like working on the railroad. NMHM also offers multiple long-term exhibitions, including “Battleship! Honoring the USS New Mexico,” “Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now,” “The Segesser Hides and the Massacre of Don Pedro Villasur,” and “Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy.”
Also located in downtown Santa Fe is the New Mexico Museum of Art (NMMOA). Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed on Monday. NMMOA is a catalyst and showcase for creativity and the enjoyment of art. Available exhibitions include “Breath Taking,” an exhibit that depicts ways contemporary artists express the act and importance of breathing by measuring it, scanning it, enclosing it, evoking it, and reminding us that every breath we take is a cooperative venture with our landscape. “Word Play” is another exhibition visitors enjoyed for only a few weeks before museums closed in March. This exhibition of more than 40 works of art in a variety of mediums features images by artists who incorporate letters, words, and phrases into their visual creations. “The birth, death and resurrection of Christ: from Michelangelo to Tiepolo” is a rare and extraordinary exhibition. On loan from the British Museum, his exhibition focuses on the three major stages of Christ’s life: his incarnation, in the form of the Nativity; his Crucifixion; and finally the Resurrection. The last day for visitors to view this exhibition is Sunday, September 27, 2020.
Additionally, from 10 a.m. to noon each Wednesday, most DCA facilities will provide special hours of operation for high-risk populations. This corresponds with DCA’s weekly free day for state residents 60 and older.
State museums and historic sites have been closed to the public since March 16 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the reopening process, the DCA has taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe, healthy, and enjoyable experience for visitors when they return to these facilities, in accordance with the current Public Health Order issued by the New Mexico Department of Health.
Entry into facilities will be metered to ensure compliance with the occupancy limits. Based on both historic attendance data and ticketing limitations, facilities will not require timed entry or reservations.
The New Mexico CulturePass, which allows one visit to each state museum and historic site while active, will be extended by six months past the expiration date. Museum memberships purchased through the Museum of New Mexico Foundation will be extended by one month past their original expiration date.
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