Museum Director Andrew Connors said one thing that Josie Lopez, the museum’s curator of art, wanted to do with the “Common Ground” volume was to highlight not only notable New Mexico artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Luis Jiménez and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and many others, but also artists from out of state whose work is in the collection. Connors, Lopez and Lacey Chrisco, the assistant curator of art, are the co-authors of “Common Ground.”
“The book allows us to tell a more complete story about the art collection (than the current exhibit of the same name). And quite frankly, it allows us to tell a New Mexico art history from a more diverse vantage point than any museum anywhere has discussed it,” Connors said. “That’s because our collection represents not just the ‘three cultures’ (Hispanic, Native American and Anglo), the stereotype of New Mexico, but (it’s) much more broad than that.”
Art within the “three cultures” concept is itself diverse and includes Hispanic folk art, Native American jewelry and ceramics, and paintings by late 19th and early 20th century Anglo painters in Taos and Santa Fe. Still, “three cultures” leaves out a far broader diversity of artists, some quite famous, who don’t fit into that concept, Connors said.