Sunday 2/20: Santa Fe, NM

There are rumors floating about the blogosphere that Mark and Karen are turning back from their plans to reach California because they are worn out old farts. Well, it is undeniable that we are getting to be old farts. Our problem is that we are finding so much to do and still missing so much in each place we land that at this pace we will require another two weeks to reach California. That is beyond the scope of this years Road Trip on our calendars. Business beckons back in Hudson requiring our presence. So that is the story of our apparently truncated itinerary.

Courtyard NM Museum of Art - no pictures allowed inside

We started out the day at that inevitable Santa Fe tourist destination, Santa Fe Plaza. We paid up for a four museum pass and went to the New Mexico Museum of Art on no other impulse than our usual inability to pass up buildings that combine the words, “museum” and “art”, in their name. When we walked in the door we ran right into the beginning of a private gallery tour of a new exhibition, “Case Studies from the Bureau of Contemporary Art“. We look like credible old fart big wigs so we tagged along. The exhibiton “…present(s) a number of thematic points of entry into the New Mexico Museum of Art’s contemporary collection.”

image borrowed w/o permission from museum website - La Guadalupana by D. Montoya

The presenter was Laura Addison, Curator of Contemporary Art. She mentioned that the fifty pieces in the show were selected from 5,000 in the museum’s contemporary collection.

This a exhibition is a pure curator’s art event. It reminded us of the two shows at the New Orleans Museum of Art, “Bernard Faucon:
The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth” and “Residents and Visitors:
Twentieth-Century Photographs of Louisiana”. Both of these exhibits demonstrated that with a large body of works to choose from and an organizing principle you can’t miss in finding some really good art and a good exhibition. As Bernard Faucon said about his project, “choosing a unity of place, time, and age selecting 60 out of 2-3,000, infallibly leads to success.” Ms. Addison supplied different criteria for selection but “inevitably” came up with an interesting exhibition.

We stopped next at the New Mexico State History Museum. After the puffed up Texas show, we found this much more likable. Also, great to be in a place where not all history begins with the Pilgrims and the rest of the early WASPs.

After a lunch at the Atomic Cafe, we took a turn around the plaza before declaring enough exposure to high end baubles and endless art galleries (all closed on a Sunday).

We jumped in our car and headed for the hills, the museum hills, to find the Museum of  Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. We stumbled on the Wheelwright Museum along the way just down the hill.

Following this we took a ride around Santa Fe. A kind of great circle route through rich, middle class, and poor neighborhoods. Faux adobe dominates.

We had dinner again at Jalapenos Mexican Grill. Great spot with terrific food. We had take out one night and ate in the second night in Santa Fe. The mole sauce was rich with great flavors of chocolate and other mysteries. The staff is friendly and enthusiastic. A real find in this otherwise cookie cutter stip mall.

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