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Past Exhibits

Past Exhibits

La Frontera y Nuevo México: The Border and New Mexico

End Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017

Tohono O’odham Man in the Maze basket

Tohono O’odham Man in the Maze basket, ca. First half of the 20th century, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology  Collection

The cultural ramifications of national borders have become an increasingly important topic in anthropology, mirroring the global importance of the topic in general.  Because New Mexico is on the U.S.-Mexico border, the politics of that border are deeply important to the state and its people.  The recent presidential election also made the border and immigration controversial issues.

 In light of recent events and the long and complicated history of the U.S.-Mexican border, La Frontera examines border and immigration policies and realities from an anthropological perspective through the use of images of the border, objects – personal and political – related to the border, and personal reflections from people and organizations who are most directly impacted by the border and immigration policy.  We ask what the border means to different people, and what the border means to you.

La Frontera y Nuevo Mexico: The border and New Mexico is an anthropological investigation of the U.S. Mexican border in two parts, the first section currently on exhibition in the Maxwell is an introduction to the topic and the second section will be installed by January 31 in the Hibben Center, just south of the Maxwell. La Frontera is the latest in the Current Issues in Anthropology series of exhibitions. Presenting news media, historic documents, personal reflections and objects, the series presents thought provoking topics and requests feedback

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Entering Standing Rock: the Protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline

End Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017

Standing Rock poster, Defend the Sacred, by Jon Charley

Image (detail) Jon Charley "Defend the Sacred"

Native Americans have been resisting colonial and American government impositions since the arrival of colonists in the Americas during the 15th century. Opposition includes events as diverse as the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and the founding of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968.  The current protest at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL) is utilizing new strategies, technologies, media, and allies.

The NoDAPL protest began in response to a proposal to build a 1,172 mile long pipeline crossing multiple states, communities, farms, fragile wildlife habitats, and tribal lands. The protest has involved members of more than 100 indigenous tribes as well as non-tribal citizens.

The exhibition features photographs, posters, film, music, news reporting and other works by artists, journalists and activists who have supported or participated and offers a glimpse into life at the  camp  and shows how artists and protestors use social media to spread the message of protest.

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No Hate, No Fear: Responses to the Presidential Ban on Refugees and Immigrants

End Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017

(detail) Woman's Oud, mid-20th century, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology Collection

 

 

The title of this small but important exhibition is taken from a common refrain chanted at recent protests happening around the country: “No Hate, No Fear, immigrants (or “refugees”) are welcome here!”  The protests were a response to the executive ban of immigrants and refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The protests reflect both a long history of Americans resisting government decisions they find objectionable (starting with the Boston Tea Party of 1773), and the power of social media to unite groups with a common purpose.

In this exhibition, which features both musical instruments from the countries singled out in the original ban and coverage of the protests at airports against the ban, we encourage visitors to contemplate the implications of the ban, as it continues to be debated, litigated, and revised.

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Earth, Fire and Life: Six Thousand Years of Chinese Ceramics

End Date: Friday, June 16, 2017

Terra Cotta horse head

China’s historical role in the global ceramics market is so pervasive that in English, “china” is a synonym for porcelain and similar wares. We invite you to examine more than 100 pieces of “china” created and used as China took shape, and became the civilization we know today.  Supported by The Ortiz Center, New Mexico Humanities Council, Eason Eige, the Tang family, the Chan family and Mr. Ed Jeung.

 

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Cross Currents: China Exports and the World Responds

End Date: Friday, June 16, 2017

Many things we use every day, from coffee mugs to iPhones, come from China.  The pattern began more than 2,000 years ago, when the Han dynasty promoted the "Silk Road" through central Asia, and the first porcelain objects arrived in Europe in 1338.  For almost two centures afterwards porcelain was a rarity, owned mostly by kings and high nobles.  Once Portuguese ships reached China in the early 1500s, it was suddenly possible to transport large quantities of Chinese ceramics directly to the West.  In the early 1700s the Chinese reorganized their porcelain production to cater to Western demand.  This exhibition highlights that history and its impact on cultural dynamics spanning hundreds of years and featuring dozens of ceramics from around the world in exploring this phenomenon.

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Chinese Americans in New Mexico

End Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chinese immigrants first came to New Mexico in in large numbers in the 1800s looking for jobs, particularly building railroads and mining. Because of harsh laws, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and other discrimination, the Chinese in the “first wave” of immigrants were unable to create lasting communities in New Mexico.
 
In the early 1900s, a small but permanent Chinese-American community took root in New Mexico, including refugees from the Communist takeover of mainland China, along with immigrants from Taiwan. New Mexico’s Chinese Americans are proud to be U.S. citizens, but also remember their ancient heritage.  
 
As Dr. Siu Wong, a member of the Chinese American community in Albuquerque, said of the tea cups displayed in this exhibit, and brought by her parents from Shanghai: 
“Throughout my childhood these tea cups were never used; they were too fragile for everyday life. Instead they were a reminder of my family's affluent lifestyle prior to the Japanese occupation of China in the late 1930s and early 1940s.”
 
The exhibition recounts the story of Chinese immigrants and Chinese American communities in New Mexico through photographs, documents and family heirlooms.
 

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Evidence & Theory: Photographs from the Maxwell Museum Archives

End Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Image of people standing in line

Photography occupies a unique position in the world of invention, with the photographic image held as both an expression of hard factual evidence and as subject to complex theoretical interpretation.

Evidence and Theory: Photographs from the Archive of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology questions the fundamental interpretation of photographic imagery and the relationship between seeing and knowing truth. The exhibition explores this duality through a collection of historical images from the Maxwell Archive, many on display for the first time

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¡Viva la Revolución!: The Legacy of the Mexican Revolution at the University of New Mexico

End Date: Saturday, January 30, 2016

Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution Poster, 1942 (reproduction).
Courtesy of The University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research

The Mexican Revolution was a multifaceted drama that involved various factions.  Several issues instigated rebellion, but Francisco Madero's November 20, 1910 revolt against the Dictator Porfirio Díaz, has been designated as the official beginning of the Mexican Revolution. Narratives of the war evolved beyond the violent phase of the insurgency, and, over time, competing or counter narratives and understandings of the insurrection have continued to emerge.

The legacy of the Mexican Revolution is (re)defined and (re)constructed by what is remembered through various ongoing processes of memorialization, institutionalization, education, and celebration.

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Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Sabino Osuna's Photographs of the Mexican Revolution

End Date: Saturday, January 30, 2016

Nurse aiding fallen soldier

The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime dictator Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution is generally considered to have lasted until 1920, although the country continued to have sporadic outbreaks of warfare well into the 1920s. It gave birth to the Mexican Constitution of 1917.

A nascent generation of photographers documented the struggle. Sabino Osuna was among the photographers who appeared on the scene and was able to get close to the action. The images he produced cover primarily the early years of the Revolution, in particular the Decena Trágica. As nonpartisan observers, photographers covered the events and enjoyed the liberty of moving freely among the rival troops. They carried no weapons and posed no threat to the warring factions.

Fifty-six images selected for the exhibition come from the Osuna Collection of 427 glass negatives that are held in the University of California Riverside Libraries Special Collections & Archives. The Osuna collection is both historically important as well as visually impressive and coherent, presenting one ­person’s point of view.  The exhibition of the photographs is augmented with historic and contemporary objects related to the Mexican Revolution.

Mexico at the Hour of Combat is supported by the Consulado de México en Albuquerque, UNM Chicana/Chicano Studies, Global Education Office, Latin American & Iberian Institute, the Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies and Univision.

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Archeology on Ice

End Date: Sunday, October 4, 2015

Glacier

Ancient ice is melting throughout the world, and in the Arctic, annual average temperature has increased at almost twice the rate as that of the rest of the earth. Artifacts that have been frozen in ice for thousands of years are emerging. A team of researchers from the University of New Mexico led by James Dixon investigated ice patches in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The results of the ten year project are the subject of a new exhibition at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. 

Archaeology on Ice tells the story of the climate change in the Arctic through a unique collaboration between scientists, the Ahtna Heritage Foundation and tribal members. The exceptional preservation of the organic tools (wood, antler, bone, and leather) found at ice patches has enabled people to make direct links between today and the past. Many local people participated in the research to locate and preserve these rare artifacts. They have shared their knowledge about their customary and traditional use of the land and its resources. Artifacts on display include arrows, spear points, and birch bark baskets. 

Four short educational videos present significant results of this research:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsZ1MRfQZAU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_0Atd9eePo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoW6d626A-w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ_Kj604hyM

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El Agua es Vida: Acequias in Northern New Mexico

End Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015

Visitors viewing exhibit

The northern New Mexican landscape as seen today was created by acequia irrigation and agriculture. Every colonial settlement that took root between 1600 and 1847 required the construction of ditches to channel water to grow crops and sustain livestock.  By 1700, an estimated 60 acequias, or ditches, were operating in New Mexico, followed by more than 100 acequias over the next one hundred years, with at least 300 additional acequias built in the 1800s.

El Agua es Vida: Acequias in Northern New Mexico portrays the fundamental role acequias play in the environment and in community in Northern New Mexico, where water is a precious resource of increasing scarcity. The exhibition uses a groundbreaking multi-disciplinary study conducted by researchers at the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech and Sandia Labs.  The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates the importance of the acequia system of water delivery and management in generating, transforming and sustaining the landscape. 

The water crisis of the 21st century is global. Many of the questions that concern acequia researchers have also been pursued by researchers working on similar systems in other parts of the world.

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Clay, Fire, and Containment: Recent Pottery Acquisitions at the Maxwell Museum

End Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015

Clay figurine

The Maxwell has collected pottery since its inception in 1932, primarily focusing on the U.S. Southwest. With the help of donors, the expansion of the pottery collection has become global, supporting efforts to think and talk about the wider world from an anthropological perspective. This exhibition displayed Chinese ceramic pieces, ranging from the Neolithic period (starting 10,000 B.C.) to contemporary times; contemporary pottery of sub-Saharan Africa; Remojadas figurines from the Gulf Coast of Mexico; and the local expression of the prehistoric Pueblo world - the Casas Grandes culture (between 1200 and 1450 C.E.) located in what is now Chihuahua Mexico.

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Will Wilson: Critical Indigenous Photo Exchange (CIPX) 2013

End Date: Friday, November 7, 2014

Will Wilson

The exhibit displayed portraits by Diné artist/photographer Wilson taken using a vintage, large format camera and using the historic wet plate collodion process. The photographic process references a bygone era and the historic images that continue to contribute to society's collective understanding of Native American people.

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