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NMSU Library Photo Exhibit Captures Lives of NM Women

The New Mexico State University Library announces a new photographic exhibit, “Out of the Shadows: The Women of Southern New Mexico.”  The free public exhibit will run from March 18 to October 15 in the Milton Gallery on the fourth floor of NMSU’s Branson Library.Miller, G.E. - Ms0101

The exhibit, organized by University Archivist Martha Shipman Andrews, captures the self-reliance of women ranchers, the craftsmanship and industry of Native American women, the comfortable lives of a prominent Hispanic mercantile family and the opportunities created for women by educational institutions.

The photos from the NMSU Library’s Rio Grande Historical Collections and Hobson-Huntsinger University Archives also appear in Andrews’ book Out of the Shadows: The Women of Southern New Mexico (Rio Grande Books/NMSU Library, 2012).

Andrews said that the Wild West of New Mexico, with Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, Geronimo and the U.S. Cavalry center stage, is so powerful and entertaining a myth in the popular imagination that the lives and contributions of New Mexico’s women — especially those of Southern New Mexico — have been largely overlooked.

Visual images provide an evocative means of examining the dark spaces behind the overshadowing Western myths dominated by the exploits of men.  The Library’s photos give witness to the unexpected experiences of women as they helped to settle the mountains and deserts of New Mexico between 1880 and 1920.  The lives of these women were not full of endless toil and deprivation but were rather, in the words of young Mildred Barnes from the mining community of Lake Valley, “delightful, exciting and filled with a sense of abundance.”

For more information, contact Andrews at (575) 646-5028 or email


June 17, 2013 Categories: News NMSU Library Photo Exhibit Captures Lives of NM Women