The Art of New Mexico - How the West is One
The Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts
By Joseph Traugott
Publisher: The Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe
Hardcover with slip jacket, first edition, 2007
From the dust jacket
“For the past 125 years, art in New Mexico has told a complex story of cultural interactions: Native peoples and expedition photographers, tourism and the railroad, the rise of the artist colonies, the arrival of modernism, Trinity and the end of romanticism, and new generations of indigenous artists challenging ethnic identity.
The Art of New Mexico: How the West is One investigates these cultural fusions by analyzing seminal works from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The 225 selected works demonstrate the extent to which Native American, Hispanic, and European American aesthetic traditions have always been intertwined in Southwest art. The one-ness of New Mexico art is the unique, unpredictable, often contradictory unity that developed from these cultural interactions.
“While conventional ‘collections books’ present an institution’s prized objects, often these summaries fail to draw the connections between works of art, aesthetic movements, and cultural traditions. The Art of New Mexico takes a different tack by organizing key objects from the museum’s collection to outline an intercultural history of New Mexico art from the arrival of the railroad in 1879, which brought easterners and Western European notions of art into complex interplay with native arts traditions, to contemporary practitioners in a postmodern world.
“The core of the Native American, Hispanic, and European-American works of art selected for this volume exemplify the changing paradigms in southwestern art and collectively present an intercultural history of art from the Southwest.”