Lloyd M. Davey (1937)

Originally California Organ Co. (1917)


New Mexico Museum of Art
107 W. Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501 US
St. Francis Auditorium
Organ ID: 72841

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Museums
  • The organ has been altered from its original state.
  • The organ's condition is unknown.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Charles Eberline on April 18, 2023.

Technical Details:

  • 3 manuals.
  • Built by California Organ Co.
  • Manuals: 3
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals.
  • Has Crescendo Pedal
We received the most recent update for this console from Jim Stettner on February 28, 2023.
Charles Eberline on April 18, 2023:

The Santa Fe New Mexican, June 22, 1936, announced the donation of the organ:

Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. James G. McNary, original contributors with the late Frank Springer to the construction of the art museum, the latter is at last enabled to realize a dream of the builders, the acquisition and installation of a pipe organ, one of the finest in the southwest, in the St. Francis auditorium. The organ, which cost over $30,000 when new, has been in the McNary home in El Paso for a number of years. . . . Specifications for the organ, which was built to order for the McNarys, were designed by R. P. Elliott, [sic] vice-president of the Aeolian company. It was voiced by Stanley Williams, who is considered one of the best pipe organ builders in the country and was trained by Robert Hope-Jones in England. . . . Lloyd M. Davey, installation engineer for the Aeolian Company, who made a complete survey of the organ and the auditorium last year, believes the instrument is finding a home that will be ideal in every way to bring out its best. Mr. Davey will install the organ, which has already been delivered to the museum, as soon as housing facilities are completed. It is expected that a dedicatory program will be given in September, possibly at the time of the Fiesta.

As often happens, the optimistic expectation of the dedicatory program was not fulfilled, for it was not until April 23, 1937, that the New Mexican announced the first concert on the organ:

The $35,000 pipe organ, one of the finest in the country, given the Museum of New Mexico by Mr. and Mrs. James Graham McNary of El Paso, is now completely installed after weeks of work under supervision of L. M. Davey of Los Angeles. Those who have heard it declare its tone is unmatched anywhere. The instrument is a memorial to Mrs. McNary's father, the late Joshua Reynolds, famous pioneer New Mexico and El Paso banker.

The auditorium of the art museum where the organ has been installed, with its echo organ, is again open to the public. It is expected that a large throng of music lovers will attend the first organ concert to be given at 3:30 p. m. Sunday by Bernard Helfrich. It is free and the public is invited.


"Great Pipe Organ Given the Museum: McNary Generosity Brings to Santa Fe a $30,000 Musical Instrument," Santa Fe New Mexican, Monday, June 22, 1936, 1, 7, Newspapers.com, accessed April 18, 2023, https://www.newspapers.com/image/583797361 and https://www.newspapers.com/image/583797452.

"McNary Organ Is All Installed: Helfrich Concert Sunday Afternoon Expected to Crowd Museum," Santa Fe New Mexican, Friday, April 23, 1937, sec. 2, 3, Newspapers.com, accessed April 17, 2023, https://www.newspapers.com/image/583614996.

We received the most recent update for this note from Paul R. Marchesano on April 18, 2023.

Jim Stettner on February 28, 2023:

This entry represents the installation of a used organ. Identified from a related OHS Database entry. The organ was originally built for and installed in El Paso, Texas residence of James G. McNary. In 1937, it was given to the museum. Renovation work with additions was done in 1957 by Fred H. Meunier, Denver, Colorado, with parts, including a new console, supplied by Reuter as their Op. 1228. In 2021, the organ received a new Kegg console with a complete cleaning, rewiring, new expression motors, and reed revoicing.

We received the most recent update for this note from Jim Stettner on February 28, 2023.

Instrument Images:

Museum exterior (completed 1917): Photograph from an archival source: Vintage postcard, submitted by Jim Stettner. Taken approx. ca. 1921