A few months back, I was in Santa Fe for a cooking class. Since the class didn’t begin until the next day, my husband and I dined at a local restaurant, which shall remain nameless for a reason you will soon learn. Santa Fe, if you are unaware, is a food lover’s fantasty. (No, that is not a typo. I am a fan of the tasty food, and since no word can adequately express my delight with New Mexican cuisine, I made one up!)
As the story goes, I was eating a chile rellano (a cheese stuffed anaheim pepper that I like dressed with red chile sauce), and between delicious bites, my husband said we would have time to go to the Spanish Colonial Arts Society Museum.
I ate a little bit faster.
I had been hoping to visit “the only museum in the country dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting the art of the Spanish colonial period including Hispanic New Mexico” (verbiage taken from the society’s website) for a very long time. If we hurried we would have two hours to peruse their collection of Spanish Colonial art.
Spanish Colonial Era
Generally, this period begins in 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue and ends in 1810 when Mexico began its campaign to win independence from Spain, which they did in 1821.
In many southwest regions of North America, Europeans (mostly Spanish and Portuguese) came to conquer the land and people. The precolonial civilization was subjected to disease, slavery, theft of their lands and commodities, and other atrocities beyond the scope of this short blog post (if you’re interested in knowing more, research, for example, “American Indian Boarding Schools”).
When the Europeans came, they carried their own expressions of art, much of it symbolic of their religion. They also brought their own style of architecture and textiles. But many of the supplies required to create these objects were hard to come by in the New World. In their ingenuity, the Europeans sculpted (or had talented indigenous peoples carve) wooden statues of saints, sturdy mesquite wood furniture, and weave fabrics made from local materials. Sometimes, shipments arrived from the Old World to supplement the common ware. And fine examples of these things are in the Spanish Colonial Arts Society Museum … or so I have been told.
I never got there.
We left the restaurant and I noticed broken glass by my car door. You know what happened. Somebody got my spare purse (that contained only a blank notebook and a pen), while my purse filled with credit cards, money, and other important stuff was left lying on the floor of the back seat. I guess I was so excited to eat that rellano, I had forgotten to take my purse! However, I must add, I never go anywhere without my purse, which is a testament to the great food in Santa Fe.
We spent the next two hours cleaning broken glass from the car seats and taping a garbage bag to the window until we could get it fixed. Yes, the break in was bad, but not as bad as it could have been!
So, why write a blog post about a museum I never actually visited? Well, I will go someday, and I’ll tell you all about it. But until then, the moral of this story is …
Go to Santa Fe
The food is great! And the thieves are really stupid.
Do you have a break-in story?