The following timeline provides a glimpse at events that shaped New Mexican arts and crafts, with emphasis on Hispanic
culture and arts:
1492 Columbus' voyage to the Americas.
1521 Cortez conquers the Aztec Empire.
1531 The appearance of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe to Juan Diego; this is one of the most common images of the
Virgin Mary in New Mexican religious arts.
1539 Fray Marcos de Niza visits the Zuni villages.
1540 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado explores what is now New Mexico. During this expedition the first depiction
of a buffalo was made by a European. The first churro sheep were brought to NM.
1598 Juan de Onate colonizes NM with the first permanent settlement at San Juan de los Caballeros.
1605 Onate writes his name on Inscription Rock at El Morro. This rock is the site of ancient Native American petroglyphs.
1610 Santa Fe founded by Pedro de Peralta; Santa Fe has been a seat of government longer than any other US state
1620 Plymouth Colony is established by the Pilgrims.
1625 The Fiestas of Santa Fe began as an annual event in celebration of La Conquistadora, the oldest Madonna
image in New Mexico.
1638 New Mexican governor Luis de Rosas runs a textile shop employing both Native American and Hispanic weavers.
1680 The Great Pueblo Revolt. This revolt marked a turning point in New Mexico's history, as the Pueblo peoples
sought to rid the area of Spanish control. For the following 12 years, the Spanish abandoned the upper Rio Grande area. The effects of
nearly one century of Spanish domination had already affected the arts and life styles of the Pueblo people.
1692 NM is recolonized by Don Diego de Vargas.
1723 Annual Trade Fairs established by royal decree at the Pueblos of Taos and Pecos.
1749 Birth of Pedro Antonio Fresquis, the first documented New Mexican-born Santero.
1760 The military chapel of Our Lady of Light, La Castrence, is built on the Plaza in Santa Fe. The reredos carved
from local stone is one of the most important artworks of Colonial New Mexico. The great altar screen now adorns the Church of Cristo Rey
on Canyon Road.
1776 The Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is dedicated in Santa Fe. American colonies gain independence
1790 Colonial census of New Mexico indicates a thriving textile industry.
1796 Birth of Jose Rafael Aragon, considered the greatest and most prolific New Mexican Santero.
1798–1802 Altar screens in churches of San Miguel de Santa Fe, San Francisco de Santa Fe, and the churches
of Zia, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos are painted by an anonymous Santero known as the Laguna Santero.
1806 Lt Zebulon Pike writes that artisans in NM are producing a variety of copper wares.
1807 The Bazan brothers, master weavers from Mexico are brought to New Mexico to improve weaving quality.
1821 First Santa Fe Trail wagon trains from Franklin, Missouri reach Santa Fe. The opening of the Trail would have
tremendous impact on New Mexican arts.
1826 First report of a tinsmith in New Mexico.
1833 First written description of the Penitential Brotherhood of the Sangre de Cristo. Hermanos Penitentes, a
lay religious group of Catholic men are credited with maintaining the ritual cycles, prayers and devotions of Hispanic New Mexico. The
Santero arts of 19th century New Mexico were incorporated into the ritual drama of the Penitente brotherhood.
1848 New Mexico becomes a territory of the US.
1861 Start of the U.S. Civil War.
1879 The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway arrives in NM.
1907 The School of American Archaeology, now the School for Advanced
Research is founded in Santa Fe.
1909 The Museum of New Mexico is
established at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.
1912 New Mexico enters the Union as the 47th State.
1917 Museum of Fine Arts established in Santa Fe.
1922 The first Santa Fe Indian Market is
held; it occurs each year in August.
1925 The Spanish Colonial Arts Society is
1929 Colonial Hispanic Crafts School established in Galisteo, NM.
1933–34 Public Works Art Project employs 3600 artists in NM.
1935–39 NM Federal Writers Project records Hispanic artistic traditions and life.
1952 Spanish Market is
revived in Santa Fe.
1953 Museum of International Folk Art opens
in Santa Fe.
1956 Millicent Rogers Museum opens
in Taos, dedicated to Native American and Hispanic Arts.
1971 El Rancho de las Golondrinas opens,
featuring a Spanish Colonial New Mexican living history museum.
1977 La Compania de Teatro de Albuquerque, NM's first bilingual theater, is founded.
1987 King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain visit New Mexico.
1989 Hispanic Heritage Wing opens at the Museum of International Folk Art.
2002 The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art opens on Museum Hill.