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New Mexico Art Through Time

August 6, 2013 | By Federal/State Partnership Staff

"It's About Time: 14,000 Years of Art in New Mexico" is on exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art through November 20, 2013. The New Mexico Humanities Council is a primary funder. The NMHC also supported publication of the accompanying book, New Mexico Art Through Time. Prehistory to the Present, by Joseph Traugott. James Stovall Morris' "Lightening" is an example provided in the book of New Mexico WPA art.

The exhibition begins with the changing nature of New Mexico art and includes Paleo Indian, Ancestral Pueblo, and Native and Hispanic art during the Spanish Colonial period. The chronology continues with art from the American colonial, early statehood, and post-World War II periods. The contemporary works in the final section look to the past but envision the future.

Traugott writes that, "From beautifully made Paleo-Indian tools to contemporary art, New Mexico art has evolved to reflect changing economic, ethnic, ideological, religious, and cultural perspectives. ... New Mexico Art Through Time includes works that were intended to be art by their makers, as well as objects that ultimately became art through metamorphosis.

The exhibition and the book are both part of the 2012 centennial commemoration of New Mexico statehood. A traveling version of the exhibition will be at the Herzstein Memorial Museum in Clayton, NM, through August 29th. NMHC executive director Craig Newbill chaired the statewide Centennial Steering Committee.