“I think the fundamental success in creating something
has to come from a certain fire.”
- Mary Cabot Wheelwright
When Mary Wheelwright established the House of Navajo Religion (now the Wheelwright Museum), her purpose was to create a repository for materials that fostered the study and practice of Navajo ceremonialism. Assisted by Hastiin Klah and numerous scholars, artists, and collectors, Wheelwright filled her museum with weaving, artworks, archives, and other items selected to document and preserve one of the world’s great religious traditions.
But Mary Wheelwright had other interests as well, and was a key figure in the development of Santa Fe’s renowned arts community. Her collections of Native American and Spanish Colonial arts enrich museums throughout the region.
In 2012 the Wheelwright Museum will celebrate its 75th anniversary with A Certain Fire: Mary Cabot Wheelwright Collects the Southwest, an exhibition featuring exquisite textiles, metal work, wood carving, and pottery from Santa Fe’s premier institutions including the School for Advanced Research, the Museum of International Folk Art, and others. Accompanying these treasures will be Mary Wheelwright’s own photographs and writings documenting her love of New Mexico, where she found “the time and space to breathe.”