Museum of New Mexico Staffers Win Major Publications Awards

Promotional materials for ‘Turquoise, Water, Sky.’ Courtesy/ Museum of Indian Arts & Culture


SANTA FE—The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is proud to announce that members of its staff have won three of four awards in the 2014 Publications Design Competition of the Mountain-Plains Museum Association.

The awards, to be presented at the organization’s Sept. 28–Oct. 2 conference, represent excellence in the design of exhibition catalogues, books and other collateral materials produced for museums within a 10-state region of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

The winners, all in the category of institutions with operating budgets of more than $250,000:

  • Books and Exhibition Catalogues: the Museum of New Mexico Press for Poetics of Light: Contemporary Pinhole Photography, by Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer, published in association with the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. Museum of New Mexico Press Art Director David Skolkin.
  • Magazines, Newsletters, Quarterly or Biannual Publications: the Museum of New Mexico’s 100th Anniversary Issue of El Palacio, Winter 2013. Designers David Rohr, Natalie Brown Baca, Autumn DeHosse, Monica Meehan, and Susan Hyde Holmes; photographer Blair Clark.
  • Invitation, Development or Promotional Package: the media kit for the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture’s exhibit, Turquoise, Water, Sky. Designer Susan Hyde Holmes; photographers Kitty Leaken and Blair Clark.

“We are so proud to have such a devoted and talented team of professionals showcasing New Mexico’s remarkable art, history and culture,” said Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Cultural Affairs Veronica Gonzales. “We deeply appreciate the Mountain-Plains Museums Association’s awards in recognition of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, our publications and our exceptional staff.”

In 2012, Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer donated the world’s largest collection of pinhole photography—more than 6,000 images, 60 cameras and hundreds of books—to the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. By April 2014, the museum had mounted a major exhibition, Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography  co-curated by Renner, Spencer and Photo Curator Daniel Kosharek, and the Museum of New Mexico Press had published a luscious, 212-page book, Poetics of Light: Contemporary Pinhole Photography. Renner and Spencer contributed essays; works from 132 photographers from around the world were featured.

“This award is a tremendous validation of the collections in the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives and the publication expertise of the Museum of New Mexico Press,” Kosharek said. “It is not only meaningful to Department of Cultural Affairs staff but to photographers from New Mexico and around the globe who are part of the Poetics of Light exhibition.”

First published in 1913, El Palacio Magazine covers art, culture and history in the Southwest, with an emphasis on the exhibitions, research and programs of the state’s four Santa Fe museums, the New Mexico Historic Sites, and the Office of Archaeological Studies. The centennial edition included articles by Bruce Bernstein, Cordelia Thomas Snow, Carmella Padilla and Lois P. Rudnick.

Cynthia Baughman, El Palacio’s managing editor, said the award “recognizes not only our brilliant design and photography staff, but also the richness and beauty of the Museum of New Mexico’s collections of art, artifacts, and photography, which so often illustrate our stories.”

Opened in April 2014 at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and Its Meaning highlights jewelry from the museum’s extensive collection and presents the geology, mining, history, use and significance of the stone throughout the Southwest. The media kit included a disc of high-resolution images, a richly illustrated booklet that used photographs and text to outline the exhibition’s eight themes, media passes, a “turquoise” press-on “tattoo,” and supporting historical documentation from past El Palacio articles, along with El Palacio’s Summer 2014 edition, which focused on turquoise.

“These awards demonstrate the tremendous team effort behind the Department of Cultural Affairs commitment to promote our outstanding family of museums and historic sites to New Mexico’s residents and visitors,” said Shelley Thompson, director of marketing and outreach for DCA’s Museum Resources Division. “Our marketing, public relations and graphic design group is dedicated to this mission.”

LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems