Currently on Display



People of the Southwest
A permanent exhibit depicting 11,000 years of the cultural heritage of the Southwest.

A permanent exhibit tracing human origins back four million years.

Woven Stories: Navajo Weavers in a Changing World
Weaving is an intimate and sacred part of Navajo life and culture. It involves hard work: raising sheep and goats, carding wool, dyeing wool and making time for weaving. Over the past 200 years, Navajo weavers have faced many changes in lifestyle and environment. How do weavers adapt to these challenges, and what is the future of Navajo weaving? To address these questions, co-Curators Catherine Baudoin and Gwen Saul worked with several Navajo weavers to create the Woven Stories exhibition. Weavers’ impressions and observations profoundly affected the direction of this exhibit, and many of the stories and observations from the weavers are included.
Twenty-one Navajo textiles and over forty photographs taken by John Collier, Jr. offer opportunities to reminisce, to re-negotiate the past and to make connections to the present. Despite the challenges weavers currently face, they continue to build upon their own weaving traditions in innovative ways. Closes March 29, 2014.

El Agua es Vida: Acequias in Northern New Mexico
The northern New Mexican landscape as seen today was created by acequia irrigation and agriculture. Every colonial settlement that took root between 1600 and 1847 required the construction of ditches to channel water to grow crops and sustain livestock.  By 1700, an estimated 60 acequias, or ditches, were operating in New Mexico, followed by more than 100 acequias over the next one hundred years, with at least 300 additional acequias built in the 1800s.
El Agua es Vida: Acequias in Northern New Mexico portrays the fundamental role acequias play in the environment and in community in Northern New Mexico, where water is a precious resource of increasing scarcity. The exhibition uses a groundbreaking multi-disciplinary study conducted by researchers at the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech and Sandia Labs.  The study, funded by the National Science Foundation investigates the importance of the acequia system of water delivery and management in generating, transforming and sustaining the landscape.
The water crisis of the 21st century is global. Many of the questions that concern acequia researchers have also been pursued by researchers working on similar systems in other parts of the world. Opens Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 1 pm.

Clay, Fire and Containment
The Maxwell Museum will open the exhibition "Clay, Fire and Containment" on February 21, 2014. The Maxwell Museum’s recent acquisitions include pottery from around the world.  These new acquisitions cover a wide range of periods and a variety of cultures and techniques, and, of equal importance, they are beautiful to behold.
Pottery is one of the most enduring expressions of human creativity, and is found in almost every culture. The first pottery may have been made as early as 20,000 years ago.  From the beginning, pottery vessels were made to be useful—but because of the malleable nature of clay, they quickly became a vehicle for artistic and cultural expression.  This exhibition highlights pottery from China, Africa, and Mexico.

An Experiment in Viewing
Touch the digital images on our multi-touch table in the latest Maxwell Museum exhibition, An Experiment in Viewing.  Curators Catherine Baudoin and Amy Grochowski selected a broad range of objects, culturally and geographically, along with photographs of people using similar objects in context. 
This exhibition will give the visitor an opportunity to reflect on an object’s meaning and its journey through place and time.  The viewer can imagine the creative process from idea and selection of materials, to construction and completion of piece. The multi-touch table allows the visitor to view the physical object in a digital format where its materials and construction can be seen in detail.

Contemporary Navajo Photographers: Present Tense
As the phrase implies,  “Present Tense” locates a situation or event in present time.  This exhibition, in an effort to counterbalance the weight of historic images of Native people by non-indigenous photographers, offers a glimpse into contemporary Navajo (Diné) life through the eyes of contemporary Navajo photographers.  Their images locate Navajo life and culture firmly in the here and now.
This selection of work likewise allows for the contemplation of the complex, and at times fraught, mutual and parallel histories of anthropology and photography.  Particularly as both have often been found together on display in the ethnographic, or anthropological museum.
Ten photographs by eight Navajo photographers, representing varying views and insights into contemporary Navajo/Native life, are on view. The Photographs are accompanied by the thoughts and words of the photographers themselves.  Participating photographers include: Andrea Ashkie, Rudy Begay, Sherwin Bitsui, Jinniibaah Manuelito, Mihio Manus, Sam Minkler, Beverly Singer, and William (Will) Wilson. Closes March 29, 2014.