The Nuevo Santander Gallery in McAllen, Texas is a must-see for anyone interested in Mexican art, antiques, and collectibles. It’s a trip back to a devout, yet often tumultuous time.
The gallery was started in 1998 by Becky and Che Guerra, and was called Nuevo Santander after the name Spanish conquistador Jose de Escandon gave the area in the 18th century. The couple wanted to celebrate the region’s history. The front of the building features Mexican ironwork and 150-year-old doors.
What To Do at Nuevo Santander Gallery
The gallery offers many types of religious art. Retablos are folk art paintings of religious themes that were done on copper or tin. They were very popular in the 1800’s, when middle-class people could afford them. Ex votos are paintings that were hung on church walls to commemorate people being saved from illness or danger. Santos are folk art wooden statues of saints. There are paintings and sculptures of Madonnas and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Mexico has a rich tradition of clay sculptures. The colors on them are all natural, and were made from trees, clay, and egg whites. The most famous clay sculptor was Pantaleon Panduro, who lived in the mid-19th century, and whose family continued in the sculpture business through the rest of the century. Panduro was known for creating figures of ordinary people at work. The gallery has a selection of antique Panduro pieces.
Nuevo Santander Artifacts and Exhibits
Nuevo Santander Gallery has a lot of items that people used every day, such as coins, hats, silver, and apothecary jars. There are also reminders that the old days were often violent. The gallery sometimes features documents pertaining to the Mexican Revolution. It has 19th-century guns and wrought-iron gun holders. There are also wooden bullets–they were cheaper.
In addition, there are spurs and saddles, and padlock keys for keeping valuables safe from miscreants.
Nuevo Santander Map
The Nuevo Santander Gallery is located at 717 North Main Street, McAllen, 78501. The phone number is 956-618-4959, and you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the items are for sale, and you could go home with a great antique.