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Media Release

Published: 09/22/2008

Jamestown, Quebec, Santa Fe:Three North American Beginnings

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History October 26, 2008 – March 29, 2009
Presented by The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and The Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum Companion Lecture Series in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM —Jamestown, Quebec, Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings is an exhibition The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History in Albuquerque is partnering with The Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe to present.

Jamestown, Quebec, Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings, a traveling exhibition, will be on view at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, October 26, 2008 through March 29, 2009. A companion lecture series is scheduled in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. and the Virginia Historical Society created the exhibition.

The year 1607 marked the beginning of a turning point in world history. It was a collision of empires, cultures and ideas. The first permanent English settlement was established at Jamestown, but that was just the beginning. In the following years, the French would establish Quebec (1608) and the Spanish would push north from Mexico to establish Santa Fe (1609). The “New World” offered the hope of opportunity to Europeans, but Native Americans and, soon, Africans would pay the price. The exhibition tells the story of dramatic twists of fate, strategic alliances, and violent conflict between the three mighty European empires and the Native people living in North America. It is a story that changed the face of the world as we know it today. The exhibition invites visitors to reexamine this important part of world history through the eyes of the powerful, the dispossessed, and the enslaved. It will be presented in three languages and with multiple perspectives.

“This exhibition will give visitors a broad perspective of the settling of the United States,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. “People tend to think of Jamestown, Quebec and Santa Fe as isolated incidents. But each is part of a larger story. The colonization of North America was not just a westward movement from a single starting point.”

The stage had been set quite a few years before Jamestown. Many Native people had prior contact with Europeans and trade had already been established in several areas of North America. The exhibition utilizes rare surviving Native and European artifacts, maps, documents and ceremonial objects from museums and royal collections on both sides of the Atlantic. The result is a path-breaking exhibition. A 1622 broadside advises English settlers on what to pack for their journey to Virginia. Spanish armor engraved with Christian symbols exemplifies the religious dimension of the Spanish conquest of New Mexico.

“The English, French and Spanish were all establishing these three permanent settlements almost simultaneously. This exhibition helps museum visitors understand the multinational nature of North American history and absorb the implication of that legacy,” said Barbara Clark Smith, co-curator of the exhibition and curator, Division of Politics and Reform, National Museum of American History.

The other co-curator is Dr. James Kelly, Director of Museums, and Virginia Historical Society. The accompanying exhibit book, “Jamestown, Quebec, Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings” is published by Smithsonian Books with Kelly and Smith as editors.

A companion lecture series is scheduled in Albuquerque and Santa Fe from October 25, 2008 through March 1, 2009.

Saturday October 25, 2008, 3:00 p.m. -- St. Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe
Sunday, October 26, 2008, 1:00 p.m. -- Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

New Perspectives on North America – the Views from Jamestown, Quebec and Santa Fe, an overview of the founding of three cities by three empires on the North American continent. Barbara Clark Smith, exhibition curator and co-author of the publication Jamestown, Quebec and Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings. Dr. Smith is curator of the division of politics and reform for the National Museum of American History

Saturday, November 15, 2008, 3:00 p.m. -- St. Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 1:00 p.m. -- Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Findings from the Jamestown Excavation: New Light on the Founding of Jamestown, William Kelso, director of archeology for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities Jamestown Rediscovery project, is one of America’s foremost archeologists in Early American history. He authored Jamestown Rediscovery, 1994 – 2004 and Jamestown, the Buried Truth.

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 3:00 p.m. -- St Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe
Sunday, January 25, 2009, 1:00 p.m. -- Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

The Founding of French North America, a discussion of French contributions to early North American history. William Moss, Chief Archeologist, Quebec City. Mr. Moss coordinates the archeological heritage efforts for the UNESCO World Heritage City of Quebec and has published widely about historical archeology of the French in both English and French.

Saturday, February 28, 2009, 3:00 p.m. -- St. Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe
Saturday, March 1, 2009, 1:00 p.m. -- Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Santa Fe: Multiple Impressions, Multiple Beginnings, David J. Weber, Dedman Professor of History and Director, Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University. Dr. Weber authored the essay on Santa Fe in Jamestown, Quebec and Santa Fe: Three North American Beginnings and is author of many other publications, including The Spanish Frontier in North America and The Mexican Frontier, 1821-1846. As the Santa Fe author for the Jamestown, Quebec and Santa Fe exhibition catalog, Dr. Weber will provide the audience with an overview of Santa Fe’s early beginnings.

The Albuquerque lectures will be held in the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, 2000 Mountain Road NW (in Old Town) Free with museum admission. (Museum admission is free from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.) (505) 243-7255

The Santa Fe lectures will be held in St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 West Palace Avenue. Admission is free. The lectures are supported in part by a grant from the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary.

The exhibition and lectures at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History are made possible in part by a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council.


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