Above: Soak up the iconography of a famous Mexican artist in Mirror, Mirror:photographs of Frida Kahlo, at the Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe.
Photography Courtesy Throckmorton fine Art / Nickolas Muray
Stride across Santa Fe this summer and you’ll manage to hit Mexico, Britain, China, Syria, Spain, and a few other exotic outposts. All across the city, museums, galleries, and performance spaces have banded together for Global Arts & Culture 2017—a smorgasbord of one-stop art so impressive that Randy Randall of Tourism Santa Fe can’t hold back the superlatives. The summer-long shindig, he says, may possess the power “to evolve the globe into a more beautiful, vibrant, and unified community.”
Start the evolution at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, which opens Mirror, Mirror: Photographs of Frida Kahlo on May 6 (through October 30). Fans of the Mexican painter turned icon will see how photographers interpreted her—and how she used their shots to craft her image. Nearly 60 photographs from dozens of shooters chart her fabled life—a stern girl posing for her photographer father, a nearly fatal bus accident, a tortured love for Diego Rivera, her embrace of communism, and the final years of excruciating pain and transcendent art.
Santa Fe photographer William Frej adds contemporary photographs of her Mexico City home, La Casa Azul, and a cadre of Spanish Market artists display new pieces inspired by her. An enlarged photo lets you pose with her for a selfie. “Frida’s just been exploding in recent years,” guest curator Penelope Hunter-Stiebel says, adding that the museum will take online reservations to manage the expected crowds. (505) 982-2226; spanishcolonial.org
More crowds will line up at the New Mexico Museum of Art for the U.S. debut of Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to Now, opening May 27 (through September 17), with 70 precious images on loan from the British Museum. Consider the marquee value of the artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albrecht Dürer, Piet Mondrian, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and others—then imagine seeing their greatest works in the most embryonic stages. Given that “First, you draw” might as well be the unofficial motto of artists everywhere, the exhibit promises to take visitors behind the product and into the process. “A drawing,” says museum director Mary Kershaw, “can capture and preserve a record of an artist’s thoughts.”
Lines of Thought is part of the museum’s centennial celebration, which hits high gear later this year with renovated quarters, a retrospective exhibit, and plans for a new contemporary art space. (505) 476-5041; nmartmuseum.org
Keep feeding your wanderlust at Cathedral Park, where you can stroll among 92 weather-hardy reproductions of the greatest works from Spain’s El Museo del Prado, May 13–October 31, including ones by Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Goya. In July, the New Mexico History Museum explores the toll war takes on treasured archaeological sites with the exhibit Syria: Cultural Patrimony Under Threat, and the Museum of International Folk Art hosts Quilts of Southwest China, a gathering of exquisite pieces from American and Chinese museums.
But wait, there’s more—too much to list. Study the growing schedule of lectures, music, plays, dance performances, and outdoor markets at santafe.org, then plan an international trip that still requires no passport. (See Missing)