The Santa Fe mystique is a creation that has been shaped and supported by different interests over the years. A sense of belonging and community shape ones' vision.
Tourism plays a role in defining cultural identity. It is a motivating force for emphasizing certain cultural aspects of a place and ignoring others. In Santa Fe, Native American and Hispanic cultural identity is unavoidably influenced by tourism in which local cultures and history have been made into commodities for sale. The exhibition highlights photographs made by one culture viewing another "through a lens" as well as photographs made by photographers from the local communities commenting on such views.
The exhibition also features many photographs that photographers have made of each other over the years. These images reveal the close connections between the photographers who live in and visit Santa Fe.
When published and exhibited, these photographs become part of the history of Santa Fe — part art world commodity and part visual legacy of place.
Excerpted from essays by Rina Swentzell, Andrew Leo Lovato, and Mary Anne Redding
Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe
Santa Fe: MNM Press, 2009