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Monroe Gallery: Defining Moments on Display

By Allison Wilson

Santa Fe is a creative and artistic community. The Native American people of the pueblos have artistic traditions in pottery, weaving and jewelry-making that date back more than a millennium. The Spanish settlers of the 17th century brought artistic traditions from Spain and Mexico. Combine these artistic traditions with the influx of painters and writers from the east coast of the United States during the early 20th century, and more recently, media, film and design industries, and one can understand the unique cultural identity that Santa Fe possesses.

There are many art galleries in Santa Fe, but Monroe Gallery is the only one devoted exclusively to photojournalism and the photographers who have documented the world and its events. The gallery specializes in 20th and 21st photojournalism and documentary photography, with classic black and white imagery by more than 50 photographers.

"These unforgettable images are embedded in our collective consciousness; they are defining moments chronicling our visual history," say Sid and Michelle Monroe, co-owners of Monroe Gallery. "We have seen these photographs reproduced numerous times in newspapers, magazines, books and documentaries. Universally relevant, they reflect the past, the present and the changing times."

Sid Monroe and his wife, Michelle, who have more than 40 years of curatorial and academic experience combined, moved from New York City to Santa Fe in late December 2001, following the 9/11 attacks. They opened their gallery just off the historic city center, The Plaza, in April 2002.

"Our gallery had been located in lower Manhattan and we determined we needed to relocate, and when a suitable location in New York could not be found we considered other cities," explain the Monroes. "We had visited Santa Fe on many occasions and were well aware of its status as an arts 'destination.'"

Now a fixture of Santa Fe's arts destination, Monroe Gallery features exhibitions like this summer's The Long Road: From Selma to Ferguson, a showcase of iconic photographs of the civil rights movement. From Nov. 27 to Jan. 30, 2016, the Gallery will host They Broke The Mold, an exhibition of photographs of ground-breaking entertainers.

Photo by Art Shay: The Supremes, Hitssville, Detroit, 1965

Monroe Gallery is located at 112 Don Gaspar Avenue in Santa Fe. For more information, call 505-992-0800.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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