Out of the Vault: Harinero

Posted on April 27, 2021 by Seth "from Marketing" Spillman in

Welcome to “Out of the Vault.” This is our blog series where we take you behind-the-scenes to show off our newest acquisitions and why we think they are an important addition to the Museum’s mission to tell you the diverse stories of the West. Today Michael Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art talks to us about this 1786 harinero.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is a 1786 harinero (flour storage box) built and carved by the Valdez family of Taos County–well-respected carpinteros–occupied a place of great prominence in a Spanish Colonial home.

WHERE DID WE GET IT?

Purchased from a northern New Mexico private collection.

WHY DID WE ACQUIRE IT?

Coupled with decorative carvings on the front and side panels and feet (legs), this chest speaks of permanent settlement, rather than transitory and temporary villages on the Nuevo Mexico frontera, frequently under threat from Comanche and Ute raiders. Moreover, the time and energy to grow wheat to make flour and the presence of a mill to grind that wheat into flour, all support the story of permanence on the Spanish frontier.

CAN I SEE IT?

Yes. It is currently on display in the Atherton Gallery.

The Western Heritage Fund helps make acquisitions like this possible. The West is full of different cultures, peoples and stories, and you can help us share those stories.

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