Thursday, January 22, 2009


Twice, my mom and I have attempted to go to the Museum of Art in Santa Fe, to see a special exhibit called "Fashion in Film". The second time, we finally made it. YAY!! This is a traveling exhibit being shown for a limited time. There are 25 period costumes from various films including Pride and Prejudice, Evita, Elizabeth, Titanic, The Golden Bowl, The Shooting Party, Emma, Ever After, Scarlett, Hamlet, Far and Away, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and many more. My mother is a film and costume design fanatic so it was a real treat for her. I included this link for more info and pictures. They did not allow cameras into the exhibit, unfortunately.

We wanted to go on a Sunday because the museum is free to New Mexico residents on Sundays. So, the weekend before Christmas, we headed north after church services, dropping my son off at the house first because he didn't want to do "girlie" stuff. We got to Santa Fe and drove around looking for a particular restaurant called Tecolote for a late lunch. We finally found it and went in only to find out that they close at 2:00 and it was currently 2:06! Drats! So, we went to the quick alternative, Taco Bell, and dined on fast food, rather than the delicious chile we were planning on. The second time we went to Santa Fe, we DID get to eat at Tecolote Cafe. It was great!

Although Santa Fe is the capital city of New Mexico, it is called the "City Different" for very good reason. ALL the buildings are required to have a southwestern or territorial look with adobe or stucco and are various shades of brown, often accented with brightly colored trim. All the buildings are low profile, no skyscrapers, and this traditional architecture makes one feel as if visiting a foreign country. Santa Fe is a mecca for artisans and galleries and large outdoor art is everywhere. It's a fun town to walk or drive around in and just view the art.
I find it amazing that there are even dirt roads not far from the Plaza for residents; these are twisty and narrow with the little houses close together, divided only by walls made from stone, stucco or twig. Most of the houses are very private with walled courtyards. Many of the driveways have mirrors set up for viewing oncoming traffic because the roadways are so tight.
The Plaza is the oldest section of town and a hub of activity. Streets around the Plaza are very narrow and mostly one way. Parking is very difficult. There are public parking lots and metered street parking but on the weekend before Christmas, empty spaces are almost nonexistant. We located the museum which is just off the Palace of the Governors. This area is closed to traffic so that the Native American Indians can gather to display and sell their wares, mostly jewelry. They sit on blankets and chairs and spread the jewelry in front of them on blankets for people walking by, to view. The Palace of the Governors was originally constructed in the early 17th century as Spain's seat of government for what is today the American Southwest. It is now a museum and gift shop.

My mom is 81 and has trouble walking, so, because it was very crowded, we decided to just drive around town and look at the art instead of trying to park and walk.

This is the Loretto Chapel. The Loretto Chapel is a Gothic Church constructed in 1873-1878 for the Sisters of Loretto at the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Build by a French architect commission by the Archebishop of Lamy, the design is patterned after King Louis IX's Sainte-Chapelle in Paris; a striking contrast to the adobe churches already in the area at the time it was built. In it exists the world famous miraculous staircase. The Miraculous Staircase, which legend says was constructed or inspired by St. Joseph the Carpenter, was built sometime between 1877 and 1881. It took at least six months to build, and has two 360 degree turns with no visible means of support. No one has ever been able to identify the builder who mysteriously showed up and then disappeared when the project was completed without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself. Loretto Chapel is now a private museum operated and maintained, in part, for the preservation of the Miraculous Staircase and the Chapel itself.

I thought this was a gorgeous tree. Look at the size of it!
Here are some of the outdoor art sculptures.

Isn't this pretty? It's so nice and Christmassy.

We visited the Ghost Ranch Training Center that has the large sculptures outside by Peter Woytuk. Here's my Mom with the elephant.

And yours truly...

Here's an elephant of another sort. Cute, huh?

Fashion - song: Fashion, artist: David Bowie, album: Lodger


DayPhoto said...

Thank for this lovely and informative trip!

My mother grew up in Corona New Mexico, and we visited lots.


allhorsestuff said...

I love to see picture of Santa Fe..what an eclectic art filled place!
I loved Ever After...was the winged dress there??

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Yes, I saw Drew Barrymore's famous winged gown:
The detail on all the gowns was incredible!

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Val, great pictures. Betty and I love to go to Santa Fe when we can. We especially enjoy going up for the Indian Market in August even though it's a zoo with so many people. It looks as if you drove up Canyon Road which is a neat place.

Your Mom looks pretty cool.



Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Great pics all!

Fashion was one of my most favorite Bowie songs.

You're getting to be a Santa Fe regular. Maybe you should consider becoming a Santa Fe Travel Tour Guide :)


The Wades said...

Way cool. Your mom looks like a cutie. :)