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June 27, 2019 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Meet at SAR Campus
660 Garcia St
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Amy Schiffer

Historic Churches of Northern New Mexico


Church in Northern New Mexico. Photo by Frank Graziano.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cost per person:
$215 (Includes a $25 non-refundable tax-deductible donation to SAR)

Field trip limited to 20 people.

To register for this trip click here.

Stone and adobe historic churches are plentiful in New Mexico, but over time many have lost  cultural and artistic integrity due to theft, structural changes, or abandonment.  Join SAR on a special guided journey to  four notable exceptions on the High Road to Taos: The Santuario de Chimayó, which is a major pilgrimage destination; and the village churches in Córdova, Truchas, and Las Trampas, which are rarely seen by non-parishioners.

Our visit to the magnificent interiors of these churches will be guided by author and historian, Frank Graziano and art historian Robin Gavin. With decades of work dedicated to the exploration of these churches and their cultural significance, our guides provide distinct perspectives that will enrich our understanding of these structures.

Built between 1770 and 1832, these buildings represent some of the moist important examples of late New Spain colonial period art and architecture. The structures reflect an era of rapid political and social change following the Bourbon reforms and leading up to Mexican independence. The artwork in particular, produced by some of the most prolific artists of New Mexico’s colonial period, is a masterful blending of Spanish and Native American aesthetic from which emerged a new and quintessentially New Mexican artistic tradition. Participants will have the unique opportunity to explore the history, iconography, and stylistic characteristics of these artworks, the lives of the artists who made them, all within the context of place and community.

Also included on the trip are the San Lorenzo mission at Picurís Pueblo, and  the historic areas of the pueblo, which feature a round tower kiva in a spectacular setting. Lunch will take place at Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Peñasco (and might include a piece of carrot cake, if we’re lucky).

San Rafael MIssion Church

San Rafael MIssion Church. Photo by Frank Graziano.

Study Leaders:

Frank Graziano has published numerous books on religious cultures with Oxford University Press, including his newest publication Historic Churches of New Mexico Today (2019). Graziano is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays programs, the John Carter Brown Library, Duke University, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, among many others. Between 1999 and 2016 he was John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College.

Robin Farwell Gavin is an art historian with a background in Southwest anthropology and archaeology. She received a BA in Anthropology and Art History from Connecticut College and an MA in Art History from the University of New Mexico. She began her career as an archaeologist with the Museum of New Mexico’s Laboratory of Anthropology, working throughout the state. After returning to graduate school at UNM, she focused on Spanish colonial art and subsequently served as curator of Spanish Colonial collections at the Museum of International Folk Art and chief curator for the newly opened Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. She has authored several books and articles, including Converging Streams: Art of the Hispanic and Native American Southwest (2010). Gavin retired from the MoSCA in 2017. She continues to research and write on various topics related to colonial art of the Southwest.

Activity Level: Low-Moderate, involves getting on and off the bus, standing, and a short walk on uneven ground at Picuris Pueblo.

Includes: Transportation in air-conditioned mini coach; water and snacks; lunch at Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Peñasco; guides, entry fees, and gratuities.

In conjunction with this trip, Frank presents in our Summer Salon Series (Wednesday, June 26).



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