Santa Fe’s 20th Century Connections

Jesse Nusbaum was born in Greely, CO, in 1887. He came to New Mexico in 1907 as the youngest professor at the New Mexico Normal School in Las Vegas. Nusbaum became the first archaeologist employed by the National Park Service in New Mexico. In 1909 he was hired by Edgar L. Hewett at the School of American Archaeology and the Museum of New Mexico. In 1917 he oversaw the construction of Santa Fe’s Fine Arts Museum. Nusbaum also helped build the Laboratory of Anthropology, becoming its first director. He died in Santa Fe in 1975. His mentor Edgar Lee Hewitt died in 1946 in Albuquerque.

Another Hewitt Protégé

The Portuguese artist Carlos Vierra who was suffereing from tuberculosis came seeking a cure Santa Fe’s at Sunmount Sanitorium. When he recovered he opened an art studio on the plaza 1904.  A prolific artist and photographer, he collaborated with Edgar L. Hewitt and the School of American Archeology in the restoration of the Palace of the Governors in 1909. That was the beginning of his role in advocating for the Pueblo Revival style of architecture that has become synonymous with Santa Fe’s unique landscape.

Black on Black Pottery

Throughout his career Edgar L. Hewitt established a strong rapport with the Native American community. While on an archeological dig he discovered the black-on-black pottery from the Neolithic Era in the Southwest. Hewitt approached the potter Maria Martinez of  San Ildefonso Pueblo to recreate the ancient technique of this type of pottery. Maria Martinez became world renown for the black pottery that has become synonymous with the Pueblo people of northern New Mexico.

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