Three generations of notable women lived in Santa Fe’s beloved adobe Acequia Madre House built 95 years ago by Eva Scott Muse Fényes, and her daughter and granddaughter, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin and Leonora Francis Curtin Paloheimo. It’s filled with antique furniture and Southwest art, as well as Depression-era tinwork, textiles, and furniture made for the Native Market cooperative. Eva Fényes and her daughter and granddaughter made achievements in the arts, science, business, cultural preservation and botany.
The wonderful Acequia Madre House has retained much of its original character, and the women were amazing leaders and role models in their time. Acequia Madre House became a nonprofit organization in 2008 and was designated as a limited-use museum in 2012.
Leonora Curtin, a student of Native and Spanish-American herbology wrote Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande and By the Prophet of the Earth. She was an amazing ethnobotanist, in a time with not many women in science. Her mother, a gifted painter went to Santa Fe with a little kid to get a divorce. These are incredibly adventurous well-traveled women. Their legacy represents a very different model of a dynasty: three generations of women, the men come and go.
This request is aligned with Leonora Curtin’s skill in ethnobotany and our goal is to preserve and nourish the AMH commitment to historical roots in this arena. Our Awesome project is to create and cultivate a small botanic garden to honor the legacy of Leonora Curtin. This plant paradise on Acequia Madre House grounds will be accessible for Santa Fe residents and visitors to enjoy and experience. As it is in the city it will be complementary to the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, a nature preserve in La Cienega, This rare natural cienega, ‘marsh’ in Spanish, hosts a profuse diversity of plants and wildlife. Our goal is to create a comparable botanic beauty to allow citizens access to this natural sanctuary while visiting Acequia Madre House.
Funded by Santa Fe, NM (October 2021)