Last updated: January 17, 2023
Santa Fe became a hub of international trade in the 1800s. Materials from European and U.S. manufacturers arrived from the east. Goods from central Mexican and South America arrived from the south. Products were traded at western ports for livestock and supplies. The exchange of Spanish, American Indian, Mexican, and U.S. cultures inspired uniquely New Mexican art. Preserved in the Stockman Collections Center to your left are examples of a blending of American materials and designs with traditional Spanish arts and crafts. Today's visitor can see the influence of the trails in the cultural practices and art in Santa Fe.
Location (750 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505)
The Spanish Colonial Arts Society collections were initiated in 1928. Today with 3,000 objects, the collections are the most comprehensive compilation of Spanish Colonial art of their kind. Dating from the Middle Ages to the New Millennium, the collections span centuries in art, place and time. Among the various media featured are santos (painted and sculpted images of saints,) textiles, tinwork, silverwork, goldwork, ironwork, straw appliqué, ceramics, furniture, books and more. All combined, the collections represent the artistic history and ongoing evolution of Hispano culture in New Mexico while firmly establishing its important place within the global arts landscape.
The Pueblo Revival-style building was designed by renowned architect John Gaw Meem in 1930. The inside provides an intimate, homelike setting where visitors from around the world can view the collections and learn the fascinating history of Spanish colonial art worldwide.
Museum of Spanish Colonial Art - Trade Transforms Art Exhibit Audio Description
Listen to the audio description Museum of Spanish Colonial Art - Trade Transforms Art exhibit.
Trade Transforms Art. 783 words.
- Date created:
This three-foot by two-foot panel sits on the edge of the circular drive in front of the museum. The roughly-oval area inside the loop of the drive is edged with stones and has natural plantings with a few medium-size trees and a variety of desert brush. As you face the graphic panel you can see a swale or rut from the Santa Fe Trail -- a three-foot deep trough, like a wide ditch, running across the area from right to left.
On the upper left of the panel text reads, "Art of Santa Fe Trail. Trade Transforms Art. Santa Fe became a hub of international trade in the 1800s. Materials from European and U.S. manufacturers arrived from the east. Goods from central Mexican and South America arrived from the south. Products were traded at western ports for livestock and supplies. The exchange of Spanish, American Indian, Mexican, and U.S. cultures inspired uniquely New Mexican art. Preserved in the Stockman Collections Center to your left are examples of a blending of American materials and designs with traditional Spanish arts and crafts. Today's visitor can see the influence of the trails in the cultural practices and art in Santa Fe."
The background of the panel shows a satellite view of the region with New Mexico outlined near the middle and the location of Santa Fe in the north central part of the state marked. A small label indicates your current location on the eastern edge of the city. Colored lines indicate the paths of the Three historic trade routes that met here. From the east is a green line marking the Santa Fe Trail. A small map shows that trail beginning in Missouri and ending here. Near this end of the trail are a couple of loops showing alternate routes. The caption reads, "Santa Fe Trail (1821 - 1880). The use of tin containers and machine woven textiles in Santa Fe art began when trade introduced new materials from eastern markets to Mexico. Trade increased when Santa Fe became part of the United States in 1848."
Purple lines extend to the north, loop west and merge to form the old Spanish Trail. A small map shows the trail extending from Santa Fe north, then west to end on the southern California coast. The caption reads, "Old Spanish Trail (1829 - 1848). Woolen goods from New Mexico were in high demand in the markets and ports of Los Angeles. In exchange, California-bred horses and mules were transported back to Santa Fe."
The third line is blue and extends to the south. A small map shows the trail going all the way down to southern Mexico. The caption reads, "El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (1598 - 1880). Spanish colonialism influenced American Indian art by introducing artistic styles and religious symbolism from Europe, Asia, and Central America. Similarly, trail commerce introduced American Indian art around the world."
At upper right on the panel is a small map with a bird's eye view of the museum and the nearby roads. A green line runs across the map through the drive in front of the museum, marking the path of the Santa Fe Trail. The caption reads, "A Lasting Impression. Wagon trains carved deep ruts into Museum Hill such as the ones in front of you. Each loaded wagon contributed to packing the earth and the trail bed a little deeper, forming swales that remain visible today."
At bottom right is a photograph of several objects. At the back are two pieces of woven material in geometrical patterns. One is red, gray and dark blue on a white background. The other is tan and white. In front are three metallic objects. One is an ornate cross with a sunburst pattern behind it. One is a sconce with an embossed circle in the center with two embossed half-ovals on either side, and a small candle holder. The last is an embossed frame. The caption reads, "Tin cans, machine-woven cloths, and other manufactured goods were recycled in the making of traditional arts. Designs and symbols were inspired by the cultural exchange along the trails."
At the far upper right on the panel are the logos and labels for the trails: Santa Fe National Historic Trail, Old Spanish National Historic Trail, and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail.
End of Description.