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A Past Rediscovered

Coming to Albuquerque Museum May 2019. Following on the heels of "Visions of the Hispanic World," this exhibition shares stories from the State of New Mexico, telling a history for all of us in the Land of Enchantment.

A Past Rediscovered: Highlights from the Palace of the Governors

Automobile in front of Palace of the Governors, ca. 1925
Photographer Unknown
Courtesy Palace of the Governors, Negative #LS.0453

Automobile in front of Palace of the Governors, ca. 1925
Photographer Unknown
Courtesy Palace of the Governors, Negative #LS.0453

More about the Palace of the Governors


May 11 to October 13, 2019

The Palace of the Governors has stood on the north side of the historic Santa Fe Plaza since the first decades of the 17th century, on the remains of the ancient Native American settlement Oga Poegeh, the ancestral home of the Tesuque Puebloans, at the terminus of the El Camino Real, the Royal Road that connected Mexico City with Spain’s farthest northern colony in the New World. In its 400 years, this site has witnessed all manner of human endeavor, from the installation of the first Spanish Governor of Northern New Spain, Pedro de Peralta, to the expulsion of Governor Antonio Otermin and the Spanish settlers from the region by Native Americans during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680.

This site has also embraced its short-lived identity as part of Mexico (1821-1848), and later served as the home and workplace of the Territorial Governors until the early 20th century, ultimately ushering in the birth of the Museum of New Mexico in 1909, which would form the anchor of what would become the New Mexico History Museum campus, a complex which contains the Palace, the Photo Archives, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, the Palace Press, and the History Museum itself, the most recent addition to this center for the understanding of New Mexican and Southwest regional history, erected in 2009. 

Never before in its history as a public museum has its vast collections of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, Territorial, and Twentieth and Twenty-First Century materials been celebrated in catalog form. Opening locked collection doors reveals one million original images in its Photo Archives, thousands of rare historical maps in its History Library archives, to the curiously comprehensive array of materials surrounding the history of printing in the region. Combined, these collections span nearly five centuries.

This campus serves as the repository of the collections belonging to the people of New Mexico. These collections serve not as a cabinet of curiosities, but as a historical record, a visual encyclopedia reflecting the story of the Southwest and its peoples. The work of the stewards of the New Mexico History Museum employ these treasures in our exhibitions and pubic programs in order to recognize and strengthen the communities we serve, which is foremost the mission of the New Mexico History Museum and the Palace of the Governors.

The selection of objects explored, pictured, and explained in these pages—an insightful analog to the exhibition for which this catalog was created—reveal the depth, richness, and bright hope for the future of the land of ours, the storied Land of Enchantment.

Photo Curator
Palace of the Governors Photo Archives