Exhibition: Albuquerque: Along the Rio Grande
For more than one hundred and twenty centuries, humans have lived in the region now known as the central Rio Grande Valley. When Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s army camped in the area in 1540-1542, they encountered an indigenous Tiwa-speaking native culture well adapted to a high desert environment and battling to retain its autonomy and cultural beliefs. For the next four centuries and especially after the founding of La Villa de Alburquerque in 1706, Spain, Mexico and ultimately the United States governed a population focused on survival, weathering harsh weather extremes, and building a unique economy based on agriculture, ranching, weaving, and merchant trade. Change came quickly after the railroad arrived in 1880 and especially after World War II, leading to huge population growth and making Albuquerque the creative and diverse city it is today.
Curator of history Deb Slaney notes, "This exhibition is just the right size and scope to carry us through to completion of our new core history exhibit, due to open in the Fall of 2013. Heavily drawn from 'Four Centuries: A History of Albuquerque,' it includes many of our most beloved and iconic artifacts. This exhibit is important because it allows us to continue to provide a context for students, families and out-of-town guests for learning about Albuquerque history while we are under construction during the next year and a half."