Exhibition announcement: Fiestas of San Juan Nuevo
In the nearly 50 years since the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology has been in its present location, the Museum has hosted approximately 150 temporary exhibitions. Over the next few weeks, we will look back at some of them.
From November 1981 through September 1982, the Fiestas of San Juan Nuevo exhibition at the Maxwell Museum featured ceremonial objects and photographs from the Tarascan village of San Juan Nuevo in Michoacan Mexico. The exhibition focused on the ephemeral art made by village artists for religious ceremonies, made of bread dough, fresh flowers, wax and cut paper. These objects are meant to be ephemeral and rarely find their ways to museums and collections. To create the objects for the Maxwell Exhibition, the Museum welcomed four artists and ritual specialists from San Juan Nuevo to Albuquerque, where they worked with exhibit curator Mari Lyn Salvador and guest curator anthropologist Joyce C. Bishop to recreate the materials and settings of their use. More than 200 objects (clothing, masks, ceramics, baskets, paper cutouts, and more) from the exhibition were added to the Museum’s ethnology collections.
The exhibition featured five of the 15 annual ceremonies that structure the ceremonial calendar of the community: Christmas (December 24-26), the Assumption of the Virgin (August 15), Lord of the Miracles (September 14), and Day of the Dead (October 31), and The Immaculate Conception (December 8). The exhibition was supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maxwell Museum Association, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Albuquerque Public Schools.