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Spanish treasures in Santa Fe; exploring a new wing at the Museum of International Folk Art.

Tracking four centuries of Spanish influence in New Mexico is easier since the $1 -million Hispanic Heritage Wing, at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, opened in July.

Featuring the country's largest collection of Hispanic folk art from the Spanish period to the present, the new wing brings a local focus to the most extensive collection of international folk art in the world. Lively workshops and interactive displays let you learn first-hand about the region's tradiciones vivas (living traditions). Compare old Spain with New Mexico

Some 350 items chosen from 5,000 Hispanic pieces range from carved furniture and decorations to farm tools, woven blankets, tinware, and jewelry.

Displays and accompanying text explain how the Spanish got here in the late 1500s, what life was like then, how the culture evolved during centuries of isolation ftom the rest of the world, and what happened when the Santa Fe Trail launched a whole new era of influence. (Also see "Old Spain in New Mexico" in the September 1988 Sunset.)

Exhibits also compare Spanish New Mexico's liturgical art and domestic crafts with ones that developed elsewhere in the Spanish empire.

The new 4,000-square-foot exhibit space includes a courtyard. Here, stories, songs, folklore, poetry, prayers, and personal narratives of Hispanic New Mexico (on compact disks) accompany displays on the Spanish arrival here. Inside, Familia y Fe (Family and Faith) portrays the importance of home and church life. Touch the screen on a videodisk program to learn more about artifacts on display. Outstanding examples of 20th-century Hispanic folk art help illustrate the dramatic changes following the American influx to New Mexico beginning in 1846.

Music and stories, performances and workshops at the museum

Through June 1990, you can watch and learn from the state's best folk dancers, storytellers, tinworkers, carvers of santos (saints), and artists in straw applique. October events are listed here; for a complete schedule, write to the museum, Box 2087, Santa Fe 87504.

Storyteller-singer-musician Cleofes Vigil of San Cristobal performs at 7:30 PM. October 13. Storyteller Paulette Atencio of Chama weaves supernatural folk tales at 1:30 and 3 October 22.

Watch straw applique artists at work between 10 and 4 on October 14 and 15. Or join a two-day workshop from 9 to 4 on October 28 and 29. Preregistration is required for the workshop; call (505) 8278350 after 9 A.M. on Monday, October 23. The workshop has a $10 registration and materials fee.

Other events are free with museum admission ($3.50 adults, free ages 16 and under); evening performances are free. The museum is at 706 Camino Lejo, 2 miles southeast of town just off Old Santa Fe Trail. Hours are 10 to 5 daily (closed Mondays in January and February).
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Oct 1, 1989
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