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Temporary Exhibits

In the Places of the Spirits: Photographs by David Grant Noble

End Date: Monday, October 31, 2022

In early May 2022, the Maxwell presented a new exhibition in our Center Gallery featuring photographs from our archive. The exhibition, titled In the Places of the Spirits: Photos of David Grant Noblem, was curated by Maxwell Archivist Diane Tyink and features a selection of stunning photographs from this new acquisition. The Maxwell is honored that this is one of only two exhibits in which Noble's work has been shown as a whole, as most of his photographs are dispersed in different galleries and/or publications. David Grant Noble is a photographer and writer whose focus is the history and archaeology of the American Southwest, though he has worked around the nation and around the globe.

On David Grant Noble

David Grant Noble was born and raised in Massachusetts, attended Yale University, served in the army in Vietnam, and was for many years on the staff of the School for Advanced Research. While in the army in the 1960s, Noble photographed Vietnam's Central Highlands. These were his first photographs and were recently published in his memoir, “Saigon to Pleiku: A Counterintelligence Agent in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, 1962-1963.”  In 1970 and 1971, he photographed Mohawk ironworkers in New York City - some of those photographs featured in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian 2002 exhibition Booming Out: Mohawk Ironworkers Build New York, co-curated by the Maxwell's own Curator of Exhibitions, Devorah Romanek. Noble's work includes a series on Ojibwe wild rice harvesters in Wisconsin and Minnesota, followed by his work in the Southwest.

He became interested in photographing the Southwest’s ancient cultural landscapes in 1972-1974, when he was the photographer on the School for Advanced Research’s excavations at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo, near Santa Fe. This job soon led to his writing and illustrating his archaeological guide, “Ancient Ruins and Rock Art of the Southwest,” which, in turn, led to “In the Places of the Spirits.” He has authored or edited a dozen books on the deep history of the American Southwest. 

Noble’s photographs are in many collections, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Yale University’s Beinecke Library, The New York State Museum, and the Heard Museum, in addition to the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Examples of his photography can be seen at his website. He lives in Santa Fe and is presently writing an archaeological murder mystery set in the Southwest.

This exhibit is sponsored by UNM's Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.

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Sámi Dreams

End Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022

In early May 2022, the Maxwell inaugurated Sámi Dreams, an exhibition loaned by Norway House of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This exhibition, about the Indigenous people of Northern Europe, features the photographs of Randall Hyman and first-hand testimony of Sámi people living across northern Scandinavia. The exhibition contains oral histories, and addresses issues pertaining to Indigenous rights, Scandinavian culture, and Arctic climate change. This exhibit will remain at the Maxwell until Saturday, August 27, 2022.

In a separate section of the North gallery, the Maxwell is also presenting Sámi objects from its own collection and highlighting the theme of climate change, an issue the museum has addressed through many exhibitions of the last few years (i.e., Archaeology on Ice and Drowned River, among others), and which we intend to continue addressing in future exhibitions.

On Randall Hyman

Randall Hyman has traveled the globe on magazine assignments for over four decades covering natural history, science, and cultural topics from Northern Europe to South America to Asia to Africa. His photo essays and articles have appeared in a range of magazines including Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, Discover, American History, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Huffington Post, Science, Wildlife Conservation, National Wildlife, British Heritage and various National Geographic books.

As a 2013 Fulbright Scholar in Norway and guest of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Mr. Hyman covered field science, resource development, and climate change in the Arctic for a number of organizations and publications. In 2015, he was the distinguished Josephine Patterson Albright Fellow of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, expanding on his coverage of Arctic climate change. In 2018 he photographed and produced this exhibit about the Sami, northern Europe's only Indigenous people, which began touring North America in 2019. He continues to focus on Arctic topics and lecture on polar climate change across the United States and Europe.

(See his magazine work including a showcase of the Sámi exhibit) 

This exhibit is sponsored by UNM's Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies.

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Current Issues in Anthropology: Afghanistan

End Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Assadullah in Kabul bakery 2018 (Photograph by Ivan Flores, for article "In Kabul, Naan Endures, by Ruchi Kumar)

The Maxwell Museum's Current Issues in Anthropology exhibitions are timely displays that affirm out commitment to share information and create a forum to address current events and issues affecting our region and our world. 

Paired displays in the Hibben Center and the Maxwell Museum address recent events in Afghanistan and seek to share knowledge on recent history, provoke thought and encourage action 
Both exhibitions feature objects of every day life: hats in one and bread in the other.  Four hats in a variety of regional styles (and one necklace) are featured in a single-case exhibition in the Maxwell Museum.  In Afghanistan, as throughout the world, clothing styles signal ethnic identity, religious affiliation, and even political loyalties. Among the hats featured is a pakol, a felted wool hat from the Nuristan region of eastern Afghanistan. Because of their association with the Northern Alliance resistance to the Taliban, pakol hats were banned by the Taliban during their first period of rule from 1996 to 2001. This exhibition, curated by Carla Sinopoli, presents some general information on the history of Afghanistan, a landlocked nation of tremendous ethnic, linguistic, and environmental diversity located at the crossroads of Central, South, and Southwest Asia.  A timeline summarizes the last 40+ years of Afghan history, from the 1979 Soviet invasion to the 2021 U.S. departure.  
Bread, the main staple of Afghan cuisine, is the focus of a photo exhibition curated by Dr. Devorah Romanek in the atrium of the Hibben Center.  The significance and history of bread making, selling, and eating provide a lens into the recent history of Afghanistan. Long a male occupation, the large numbers of widows created by 40 years of war led to the rise of widows' bakeries and small woman-run operations. The social  and economic liberalization of the post-2001 period led to the flourishing of urban café culture, creating places where young men and women could interact. Today, these cafés have closed and the recent takeover by the Taliban coupled with the withdrawal of international donors and a catastrophic drought have intensified the hunger already experienced by many Afghan people. The price of wheat has risen dramatically and the United Nations' World Food Program estimates that 93% of Afghanistan's people are not getting enough to eat and as many as a million children may die of starvation this winter.  
A handout available near both exhibitions contains information on how you can help Afghani refugees in New Mexico and organizations providing aid in Afghanistan.


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