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Public opening: “Over the Edge: Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon and in the Great Southwest”

The Santa Fe Railway and its concessionaire, the Fred Harvey Company, were masters at creating a vision of the Southwest. Jointly, their ephemeral publications promoting the merits of the “Indian Southwest” number in the tens of thousands. Their illustrated books, pamphlets, folios, menus, postcards, playing cards, timetables, calendars and even matchbook covers evoke vivid images of an adventurous journey through a previously remote world.

Encounters with American Indian people and cultures were primary attractions for tourists and travelers alike. Images of the land and its people served both to whet travelers’ appetites and to provide souvenir reminders of Southwestern adventures. The two companies’ identities were so closely intertwined that one hardly knew where the Santa Fe Railway ended and the Fred Harvey Company began.

Drawing on a rich resource of ephemera that features the Fred Harvey and Santa Fe Railway companies’ activities at the Grand Canyon and other key focal points in the Great Southwest, this exhibit will be well illustrated with examples of pamphlets, advertisements, postcards and other promotional materials produced by the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway.

Pottery, textiles, jewelry and other art forms from the Heard Museum’s permanent collection will represent the Native peoples who inspired visitors through their artworks and cultures, further illustrating the story of the business partnership that was foremost in shaping the Southwest.

At 1:30 p.m. — Panel Discussion, “Mysteries of Fred Harvey”: Get details of the life and accomplishments of legendary entrepreneur Fred Harvey, the subject of the exhibit, Over the Edge: Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon and in the GreatSouthwest, from this knowledgeable panel: Stephen Fried, author of a Harvey biography, Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the West – One Meal at a Time; Meredith Davidson, curator of 19th- and 20th-Century Southwest Collections, New Mexico History Museum; and the co-authors of a new book with the same name as the exhibit, Over the Edge: Fred Harvey at the Grand Canyon and in the Great Southwest: Kathy Howard, Heard research associate and Diana Pardue, Heard curator of collections. In the Monte Vista Room. Book signing to follow at Books & More. Free with museum admission.

A 1909 William R. Leigh painting of the Grand Canyon was used for this menu on the Santa Fe Dining Car, “El Capitan,” 1940s-1950s.

A 1909 William R. Leigh painting of the Grand Canyon was used for this menu on the Santa Fe Dining Car, “El Capitan,” 1940s-1950s.

Fred Harvey, 1889. Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives, Heard Museum

Fred Harvey, 1889. Billie Jane Baguley Library and Archives, Heard Museum


Event Details

Saturday, April 9
9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Included in museum admission. In the Lovena Ohl Gallery.

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