Programs & Services

New Mexico History Museum: Voices of Counterculture

Exploring the Explosive 1960s Counterculture in the Southwest

Divine Union, 1970, California. Museum Collection of Yogi Bhajan, Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma.

The New Mexico History Museum’s Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest exhibition explores the 1960s pilgrimage of young people to New Mexico, violent protests on the campus of the University of New Mexico, alternative communal living experiments, and the founding of environmental and Native American rights activists’ groups.

As the Vietnam conflict dragged on for more than a decade, and the trajectory of civil rights activism escalated nationally, issues of justice, identity, and social norms sparked activism among the nation’s youth. The exhibition runs through February 11, 2018.

Visitors can share their own stories about how the themes of the counterculture exhibit continue to influence contemporary life through a feedback booth. Working with Berkeley, California’s Story Center, the museum gathered ten stories bridging those who lived through the era and those who are continuing with the social and cultural ethos of the era today.

There is no shortage of photographs documenting the horrors of the Vietnam War. In fact, between military photographers and the free press, millions of photographs of the Vietnam conflict were taken between 1962 and 1975. But, there are very few that document the war from the perspective of a young gay man serving in the United States Army. NMHM is displaying this unique perspective through the photographs of Santa Fe veteran Herbert Lotz, acquired through the museum’s Photo Legacy Project in 2008. The exhibition, Sleeping During the Day: Vietnam 1968, runs through October 1, 2017. Lotz’s photographs humanize the men who served amidst the rising disillusionment that became the rallying point for the emerging counterculture movement.

Celebrate this revolutionary era and New Mexico’s role on Santa Fe Plaza on July 9th with live music, yoga, children and folk dance performances. Enjoy a day trip on Saturday July 15th to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lama Foundation, a thriving spiritual community and commune north of Taos. As part of this exhibition’s public programing participate in a Kundalini Yoga class from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursdays: July 20, August 17, September 21, and monthly through January in the History Museum’s Meem Community Room.

For two weeks this July, the Museum is hosting the Innovate & Create Camp, a two-week STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) experience for young women in grades 6–10 with activities bridging technology, art, and history in fun, innovative ways.

The New Mexico History Museum is open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (through October), 5–7 p.m. Fridays (through October). $12 General Admission, $7 NM Residents, Free first Sunday of the month to NM residents, and Wednesdays to NM Seniors with ID. Free to Children 16 and under. Free Friday Evenings for NM residents.

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