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Beam, viga, San Estevan church convent

Beam, viga, San Estevan church convent

Artist: Acoma

Department: History
Date: 1629-1641
Medium: Wood
4 1/4 x 122 x 5 1/4 in. (10.8 x 309.9 x 13.3 cm)
Classification: Built Environment Objects
Credit Line: Albuquerque Museum, gift of Judy and Ray Dewey in memory of Rick Dillingham
Object number: PC2001.63.1
DescriptionCarved and painted viga or beam from the ceiling of the convent of the San Estevan del Rey Church at Acoma Pueblo.

The beams are squared with geometric carved decoration; any preexisting paint is now absent.

The church was constructed between 1629 and 1641, a period of 12 years.
On view
Label Text:Acoma Pueblo's San Esteban del Rey Mission was founded in 1629, under the direction of Fray Juan Ramirez. Because all of the building materials had to be carried up the steep mesa from Mount Taylor, 40 miles away, it required eleven years to complete.

The mission has undergone numerous renovations, and through time its vigas have been replaced and recycled into private Acoma homes. Members of the Lewis family received a number of vigas, four of which were acquired by artist Rick Dillingham, and later acquired by the donors. They represent some of the earliest known examples of Spanish Colonial wood carving in our region.