Continuing through February 28, 2018
If you are having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, plan a trip to the "25th Annual Art of Devotion — Historic Art of the Americas." The collection includes devotional objects from the 17th- to 19th-centuries, focusing on Spanish Colonial Viceregal artwork. The works featured range broadly from paintings, sculpture, furniture, silverwork and wood carving. While the subjects are primarily religious, historical and political themes also permeate throughout. Even if you have no interest in religious iconography, the lavish assortment of hundreds of elaborate objects and paintings, which range widely in subject matter, add up to an impressive presentation.
The objects in the collection have made their way to Santa Fe from countries all over the continent, including Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela and Brazil. There are some stunning Baroque paintings in rich reds and blues. The exhibition focuses in particular on former Spanish and Portuguese colonies, and includes representations of European religious and aesthetic influence on New World indigenous peoples. These artifacts create a refreshing balance to the gilded paintings and richly ornamented sculpture and functional objects. Combining traditional New Mexican artistic techniques with Spanish influence, the wood carvings and tapestries of indigenous Americans are unique in their melding of artistic and religious tradition. While the exhibition is overwhelmingly comprised of opulent artifacts, most of the objects in the collection were intended for private appreciation, rather than public display. Whether interested in history, religious artifacts, or just a genuine interest in an impressive collection of stunning art and artifacts, the "25th Annual Art of Devotion" is pure viewing pleasure.