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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Retablos exhibition opens Nov. 21 at University Art Gallery

A major exhibition of Mexican retablos and related devotional art will open Sunday, Nov. 21, at the New Mexico State University Art Gallery.

"El Favor de los Santos: The Retablo Collection of New Mexico State University" is the most comprehensive exhibition to date on the subject of 19th century Mexican retablos, said Gallery Director Charles Lovell. It features 180 retablos and related works from the gallery's collection of more than 1,700 pieces -- the largest public collection of Mexican retablos in the United States -- plus about 75 works of art borrowed from institutions such as the Museo Franz Mayer and the National Museum of Anthropology, both in Mexico City.

A members-only preview for Friends of the Gallery will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. The exhibition opens on Sunday, Nov. 21, and a public reception will be held at the gallery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23.

"El Favor de los Santos" will be at the University Art Gallery through Feb. 7, 2000. After that, the exhibition will travel for three years to museums in Mexico, the United States and Spain.

The exhibition shows the relationship of retablos to other forms of votive art from pre-Columbian times to the present, Lovell said. It includes a re-creation of an Aztec household altar with examples of the clay images of deities that were venerated before the arrival of the Spanish, a Baroque altarpiece showing the European influence, a typical 19th century bedroom shrine from Mexico and a contemporary altar showing how the tradition continues today.

The gallery is open six days a week: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery will be closed Thanksgiving Day. For information call (505) 646-2545.