From Billy the Kid to Breaking Bad, movies and television have portrayed and marketed our state into the present day. Over the past decade, film production in New Mexico has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to state incentives. However, film has long been a part of New Mexico's landscape, and the state's landscape and people have often been featured in film.
Curated by Dr. Paul A. Hutton, professor of history at the University of New Mexico, Hollywood Southwest: New Mexico in Film and Television features three elements of New Mexico's film history: the state as a location, the state as a subject and the state's people as subjects.
"It's essentially Hollywood Southwest," says Hutton, a self-described addicted collector of film memorabilia. "We're highlighting New Mexico as a center for filmmaking from [silent film star] D.W. Griffith onward, and the locations that are so prevalent. We'll show why New Mexico is so great for filmmaking, from the landscape to the light to the weather. We're also highlighting films about New Mexicans, such as Billy the Kid. I love the idea of two really bad hombres and what they say about New Mexico. And yes, I'm talking about Breaking Bad, too."
Hutton has been involved in film, and the history of film, for most of his career.
Also working closely on this project is Dr. Jason Strykowski, who has worked on many films and TV series, and has been instrumental in acquiring some of the artifacts for the exhibition. Costumes from The Avengers and The Lone Ranger came from Strykowski's connection to both films.
The exhibit design takes visitors behind the scenes on a film set. Plans include creating a green-screen experience for kids to explore what it feels like to be on a set. The original 1920s projection unit from the KiMo Theatre will also be on display.
Other artifacts will include movie posters, movie clips, plus other pop-culture tie-ins, such as toys and promotional items. Hutton notes that some of the historical items they hoped to include from early films such as artifacts from such classics as Lonely are the Brave, based on Edward Abbey's classic second novel The Brave Cowboy, don't exist. "One of the challenges we've had is finding the material and convincing people to lend it to us," Hutton says. "The film industry has been a throw-away industry."
An educational element of the exhibition focuses on film production as an industry in New Mexico. Hutton and Strykowski have worked with state and city film offices to highlight some of the jobs, such as grip, gaffer and craft services - and New Mexicans that do those jobs - to illustrate how the industry is a local economic driver. "We're trying to explain why New Mexico is and always has been an attractive place for filmmakers," Hutton says. "We want to have fun with this, get people excited, wow them, and appeal to young and old alike. After all, everyone loves the movies."
This schedule subject to change. Visit cabq.gov/museum for current information.
Saturday, Feb. 25, 1-3pm.
Public Opening: Hollywood Southwest
At 1 p.m. guest curator Paul Hutton discusses the history of film in New Mexico. Create art inspired by the exhibition in the Museum School from 1-3pm.
Thursday, March 16, 5-8:30pm.
Women in Film: 3rd Thursday at Albuquerque Museum
Screenings and panel discussions exploring the role of women in film.
Thursday, April 20, 5-8:30pm.
Wild West: 3rd Thursday at Albuquerque Museum
Explore the myth and enduring legacy of the western in the New Mexico.
Saturday, April 29, 3-5pm.
Climb aboard a completely-custom, uniquely-
Thursday, May 18, 5-8:30pm.
Indie Film Night: 3rd Thursday at Albuquerque Museum
This evening features short films and discussions from independent filmmakers.
Thursday, June 15, 5-8:30pm.
Family Night: 3rd Thursday at Albuquerque Museum
Enjoy family friendly activities exploring film in New Mexico.
Saturday, July 8, 10am-2pm.
Made in Native America
This day features screenings and discussions with Native American filmmakers from New Mexico.
Thursday, July 20, 5-8:30pm.
Page to Screen: 3rd Thursday at Albuquerque Museum
Explore the transformation of novel to screen with a panel of local screenwriters.
Thursdays, Aug. 3, 10, 17 and 24, 6pm.
Chatter Summer Concert Series: Music in Film
Chatter, a chamber music ensemble, curates a dynamic musical series exploring film in New Mexico.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Albuquerque Museum is the cornerstone of Albuquerque's cultural community and in its short history has had unprecedented growth in the quantity and quality of its collections.
Albuquerque Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. General admission - New Mexico residents: adults and teens $3, seniors $2 and children $1. General Museum admission is free every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the first Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and the third Thursday of every month from 5-8:30 p.m.