Thursday, June 10, 2010

Museum Hill

Wednesday we got a late start as Allan took a bike ride around the adjacent neighborhood while I got a load of laundry done. Then we headed off to Museum Hill in the SE of Santa Fe where there are 3 museums dedicated to Southwest Arts. The first museum that we visited was a Folk Art Museum and the collection actually was international although it did include exhibitions of some specific SW artists in the first gallery. There were exhibits of tin art, pottery, weaving, wood carving, straw art, and handmade books. One of our favorites was a painted woodcarving entitled
"I don't care if it rains or freezes as long as I have my plastic Jesus."

Of course it would not be a complete SW Folk Art exhibit without some Day Of The Dead Figures and although there were several to choose from, we liked the Penitente Death Cart carrying La Muerte (the death angel).

In a separate gallery was clothing from all around the world. What was interesting was that the clothing was grouped so that you could look at a selection of shoes and see the similarities or differences between how shoes were made in different countries. Cowboy boots from Asia and Mexico were almost identical, for example. Whereas some wooden high heel and high toe sandals from the Middle East were very unique as they were used by women in the bath houses so they could walk through water without getting their feet wet.

One of the exhibits was a prayer stone cloth for Muslims in Afghanistan which was embroidered by the wife for their husband to take to the Mosque and use when they were kneeling and touching their forehead to the ground.
Later we walked a short distance to the Wheelwright
Museum where we were not allowed to take photos but we enjoyed the Navajo Rug Weaving Exhibit and then went downstairs to the authentic recreated trading post which was their gift shop. Unfortunately, all of the gifts
were by real Navajo Artists and the price range was way way way beyond our gift shop budget.

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