In her second book on Galisteo, New Mexico, cultural historian Lucy R. Lippard writes about the place she has lived for a quarter century. The history of a place she refers to as Pueblo Chico (little town) is based largely on other people’s memories—those of the descendants of the original settlers in the early 1800s, heirs of the Spanish colonizers and the indigenous colonized who courageously settled this isolated valley despite official neglect and threats of Indian raids. The memories of those who came later—Hispano and Anglo—also echo through this book. But too many lives have already receded into the land, and few remain to tell the stories. The land itself has the longest memory, harboring traces of towns, trails, agriculture, and other land use that goes back thousands of years. The Galisteo Basin is a cultural landscape that has become familiar to Lippard, simultaneously enriched with the stories she has been told by longtime residents and veiled by those she has not been told. From its inception, Galisteo has been about the vortex of land and lives, about the way the land reveals its coexistence with humans, the ways people have changed it, and the ways the land has in turn changed the people who lived here long enough to become part of it. Complementing the history are two hundred historical and contemporary images, many provided by Galisteo’s citizens and heirs.
Lucy R. Lippard is an internationally known arts critic and writer. She is the author of over twenty books, has curated more than fifty major exhibitions, and is recipient of numerous awards including the Caroline Bancroft History Prize for Down Country: The Tano of the Galisteo Basin, 1250–1782 (MNMP). Other books include The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society, and Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West. In 2018 she received a New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. She lives in Galisteo, New Mexico.