New Mexico History Museum Opens

Oil Painting of Don Diego de Vargas The doors of the newly created New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe will open to the public for the first time May 24, 2009, during Memorial Day weekend. The state-of-the-art, immersive, interactive exhibition about New Mexico’s complex and colorful stories will forever banish the notion of history as boring and un-engaging.

The museum’s multi-media environment explores the early history of indigenous people, 400 years of Spanish colonization, the Mexican Period, and travel and commerce on the Santa Fe Trail. The exhibition also details the flourishing of New Mexico’s world-renowned arts communities and the coming of the Atomic Age.

“The New Mexico History Museum will be the starting place for the New Mexico cultural experience,” says New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

The new museum is located directly behind the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U.S., right on the Santa Fe Plaza. The Palace will be incorporated into the 96,000 square foot expansion as the signature, and most important, artifact for the History Museum. In addition to the Palace, the museum complex will include the Palace Press, and the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library and Photo Archives.

Contemporary art, such as the works of Paula Castillo and Kumi Yamashita, will also be a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Two days of events promise a festive Santa Fe welcome for the newest addition to the city’s family of museums, and an auspicious beginning to the Museum of New Mexico’s second 100 years.

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