Visitors to the museum will notice that in addition to the fabulous artwork on display, we have also been adding several Gallery Resource Areas made possible by the Joyce Peters Fund. Joyce Merchant Peters (1936-2012) was first a docent and then went on to manage the Museum Shop at the New Mexico Museum of Art for nearly two decades. She also co-authored with T. Dudley Cramer a story that detailed the history of her family’s San Simon ranch that was published in the Midland, Texas' Haley Memorial Library book, Cowboys Who Rode Proudly. When she passed away, her family offered the museum a generous donation as a memorial to her. Joyce’s love of reading and leaning inspired us to create resource areas in the museum galleries in her honor. Each gallery resource area is designed around a particular theme, often related to an exhibition, under the title of “Learn More About…” They are intended as a moment for reflection to provide additional information to those who want it.
Our first Gallery Resource Area made possible by the Joyce Peters Fund is about the history of the New Mexico Museum of Art’s building and is located on the first floor near the exhibition Back in the Saddle. Visitors have several resources to choose from, to cater to their learning style. There is a touchscreen with 5 short videos using archival photographs which tell the stories behind the building’s architecture and design. These videos were created by the museum’s Librarian using audio that was narrated by Penelope Hunter-Stiebel. There is also a rack card with both a timeline of significant events in the museum’s history and a list of additional resources for people to take with them. Lastly, there are several books and a copy of El Palacio that discusses the building’s historic furniture.
A second Gallery Resource Area debuted with the opening of the exhibition, 50 Works for 50 States: New Mexico. This area also has a touchscreen with 4 short videos (below) on the theme of museum collecting as well as a section specifically about the The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Visitors can use the touchscreen to learn about Dorothy and Herbert Vogel as well as the artists they collected. The section about museum collecting tells the story of how works of art become part of the museum’s permanent collection, what we collect and why. This Gallery Resource Area relates to the museum-wide celebration of collectors and collecting.
Regardless of their subject and materials used, all Gallery Resource Areas made possible by the Joyce Peters Fund provide a unique enhancement to the visitor experience. The art, architecture and design of the museum serve as conversation starters about issues that anyone can relate to. We hope these Gallery Resource Areas inspire visitors to share what they have learned with others.