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Roswell Museum and Art Center
100 West Eleventh Street
Roswell, New Mexico 88201
Voice: 505-624-6744

The Rogers and Mary Ellen Aston Collection of American Indian and Western Art includes approximately 2,000 artifacts representing the Native American, Euro-American, and Hispanic inhabitants of the West. It is one of the most important collections exhibited at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, and has been undergoing documentation since its bequest by the donor's estate with their unfortunate deaths in late 1999 (even though much of the collection has been on display here since 1979).

This was the consummation of the Astons' four decade long devotion to the Roswell Museum and Art Center, and its parent organization the City of Roswell. Rogers Aston first began supporting the Roswell Museum in the late 1950s as a volunteer curator. This collection of diverse materials was originally gathered by Aston (a sculptor) as props for works portraying poignant moments and themes in the history of the American West. Because of the intensely personal nature of the collection, it can best be regarded as the donor's partial, positioned, and passionate history of the region. As lifelong Westerners, the Astons offered their collection as "a gift of spirit" to the City of Roswell and its citizens.

Today there are many plans for the collection. The staff now also faces the challenge of re-evaluating the collection for balance in subject matter and correlating material, in order to understand the possible ways they can continue to augment the visitor experience with photographs, in-depth exhibit interpretations, and future acquisitions.

As a boy, Robert Goddard dreamed of silvery spaceships flying to the moon. Later, after acquiring an advanced degree in physics, Robert Goddard would go on to launch the world's first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926 in Auburn, MA. One of humanity's earliest steps towards space travel began in Roswell, New Mexico where Robert H. Goddard refined his liquid-fuel technology for eleven years.

In this special collection at the Roswell Museum you can see the actual rockets that made history, walk through the workshop where they were made, read Goddard's own accounts of his successes and failures, and watch a video documenting his life.

This collection represents an important aspect of space science technology. Goddard's work influenced not only the role of technology in New Mexico's history, but national and international history as well. Goddard's work not only influenced the German V-2 rocket, the implications of his research also contributed to the events leading to the Cold War and the ushering in of the Space Race.

 


Pictures and information were provided by Roswell Museum and Art Center

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