Exhibitions

Gee's Bend Quilts and Beyond: Trasteros and Trunks from the Permanent Collection Lloyds Treasure Chest Needles + Pins: A Chair For All Reasons Nuevo Mexico: El Corazon de la Cultura Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia Writing With Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities A Century of Masters: Winter Holiday Celebrations from Around The World Material World: Spring & Summer Celebrations Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda Empowering Women: Autumn Fiestas Feasts & Celebrations Multiple Visions: A Common Bond Folk Art of the Andes The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster Young Brides, Old Treasures New World Cuisine Plain Geometry Amish Quilts Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan Let's Talk About This: BRASIL & ARTE POPULAR Work in Progress: Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience Pottery of the U.S. South: The Red That Colored The World FLAMENCO: From Spain to New Mexico Sacred Realm: Blessings & Good Fortune Across Asia The Morris Miniature Circus: Return of the Little Big Top Catching Dreams Atrapando Suenos No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art Negotiate, Navigate, Innovate: Strategies Folk Artists Use in Today's Global Marketplace Artistic Heritage: Syrian Folk Art Quilts of Southwest China Crafting Memory: The Art of Community in Peru Beadwork Adorns the World Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One A Gathering of Voices: Folk Art from the Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg Collection Community through Making From Peru to New Mexico Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia

Gee's Bend Quilts and Beyond:
Gee's Bend Quilts and Beyond:
Trasteros and Trunks from the Permanent Collection
Trasteros and Trunks from the Permanent Collection
Lloyds Treasure Chest
Lloyds Treasure Chest
Needles + Pins:
Needles + Pins:
A Chair For All Reasons
A Chair For All Reasons
Nuevo Mexico: El Corazon de la Cultura
Nuevo Mexico: El Corazon de la Cultura
Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia
Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia
Writing With Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities
Writing With Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities
A Century of Masters:
A Century of Masters:
Winter Holiday Celebrations from Around The World
Winter Holiday Celebrations from Around The World
Material World:
Material World:
Spring & Summer Celebrations
Spring & Summer Celebrations
Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda
Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda
Empowering Women:
Empowering Women:
Autumn Fiestas Feasts & Celebrations
Autumn Fiestas Feasts & Celebrations
Multiple Visions: A Common Bond
Multiple Visions: A Common Bond
Folk Art of the Andes
Folk Art of the Andes
The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster
The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster
Young Brides, Old Treasures
Young Brides, Old Treasures
New World Cuisine
New World Cuisine
Plain Geometry Amish Quilts
Plain Geometry Amish Quilts
Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan
Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan
Let's Talk About This:
Let's Talk About This:
BRASIL & ARTE POPULAR
BRASIL & ARTE POPULAR
Work in Progress:
Work in Progress:
Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico
Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico
Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience
Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience
Pottery of the U.S. South:
Pottery of the U.S. South:
The Red That Colored The World
The Red That Colored The World
FLAMENCO: From Spain to New Mexico
FLAMENCO: From Spain to New Mexico
Sacred Realm: Blessings & Good Fortune Across Asia
Sacred Realm: Blessings & Good Fortune Across Asia
The Morris Miniature Circus: Return of the Little Big Top
The Morris Miniature Circus: Return of the Little Big Top
Catching Dreams Atrapando Suenos
Catching Dreams Atrapando Suenos
No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art
No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art
Negotiate, Navigate, Innovate: Strategies Folk Artists Use in Today's Global Marketplace
Negotiate, Navigate, Innovate: Strategies Folk Artists Use in Today's Global Marketplace
Artistic Heritage: Syrian Folk Art
Artistic Heritage: Syrian Folk Art
Quilts of Southwest China
Quilts of Southwest China
Crafting Memory: The Art of Community in Peru
Crafting Memory: The Art of Community in Peru
Beadwork Adorns the World
Beadwork Adorns the World
Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One
Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One
A Gathering of Voices: Folk Art from the Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg Collection
A Gathering of Voices: Folk Art from the Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg Collection
Community through Making From Peru to New Mexico
Community through Making From Peru to New Mexico
Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe
Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe
Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico
Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico
Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan
Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan
Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia
Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia

Gee's Bend Quilts and Beyond:

Louisiana Bendolph, Mary Lee Bendolph, Thornton Dial, and Lonnie Holley
November 15, 2006 - May 11, 2007

Gee’s Bend Quilts and Beyond took an in-depth look at the creative vision of a master quilt-maker, and  Mary Lee Bendolph, and the intersecting artistic worlds in which she participated. The traveling exhibition opened November 15, 2006 and closed May 11, 2007.

Gee’s Bend Quilts and Beyond took an in-depth look at the creative vision of a master quilt-maker, Mary Lee Bendolph, and the intersecting artistic worlds in which she participated. Twelve dramatically designed, richly colored, improvisational quilts created by Mary Lee Bendolph and her family members — her mother Aolar Mosely, her daughter Essie B. Pettway, and her daughter-in-law Louisiana P. Bendolph — were presented alongside complex and evocative found object sculptures by noted African American self-taught artist Thornton Dial and visionary "yard art" artist Lonnie Holley.  This exhibit examined Bendolph’s inspiration and creative process as well as her profound connection to the cultural practices and expressive traditions from which her work arises.  Intaglio prints by Mary Lee Bendolph and her daughter-in-law Louisiana P. Bendolph,  along with documentary films about all of the artists provide further context for their creative exchange. As the deep social and aesthetic networks of these six artists intersect, they give rise to new pathways of artistic influence, resulting in a power mixture of communal and individual creative energies. The exhibition was presented by Fidelity Investments. The exhibition catalogue was sponsored by Anderson Rogers Foundation. The exhibition was co-organized by the Austin Museum of Art» and Tinwood Alliance» of Atlanta. At the Museum of International Folk Art, the exhibition and programs are made possible with generous support from the International Folk Art Foundation, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation» , and the Folk Art Committee.

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Trasteros and Trunks from the Permanent Collection


January 3, 2007 - November 30, 2008

During the early Middle Ages the Spanish adopted the Moorish use of chests, low stools, and benches are the predominant furniture items being placed around the edges of rooms. 

The tradition eventually crossed the Atlantic into Mexico and New Mexico. Spanish chests were often decorated with ornate mudejar, or Christo-Mauresque, woodworking techniques as well as baroque relief carving. In New Mexico these highly decorative outside influences translated into a more "simple" folk style. Most chests and trunks were made locally in New Mexico, while others were imported from Mexico and as far away as China. Estate inventories during the 18th and 19th centuries list the chest as the most common piece of furniture in New Mexican households due to their multipurpose capabilities.


Lloyds Treasure Chest


January 1, 2008 - October 5, 2009

Lloyd’s Treasure Chest provided visitors with the opportunity to interact with works not on display in the upstairs galleries, providing a context for further appreciation and understanding of folk heritage, traditions, and aesthetics.

Lloyd’s Treasure Chest provided visitors with the opportunity to interact with works not on display in the upstairs galleries, providing a context for further appreciation and understanding of folk heritage, traditions, and aesthetics. Here, visitors had the opportunity to experience the behind-the-scenes museum activities and gain insight into aspects of preservation and conservation relating to the diverse works, and see videos about folk artists.


Needles + Pins:

Textiles & Tools
March 27, 2008 - February 15, 2009

Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools was as much about textiles and the many processes of creating them as it is the tools themselves. Rare and never before seen textiles were displayed in Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools selected from the Museum of International Folk Art’s vast collection of more than 20,000 textiles. Spinning wheels, looms, needles, sewing boxes, and adrinka stamps, among many other tools of the trade, will also come from the Museum’s rich holdings.

Often intricately carved or made of precious metal, sewing tools they can be seen as works of art. The finished product of each process – weaving, embroidery, sewing/needle arts, lace making, non-woven textiles, printing, and painting, was on view. The textiles displayed were coming out of storage for the first time.  Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools took a comprehensive look at textiles and textile production from around the world.

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A Chair For All Reasons


June 29, 2008 - January 4, 2009

Sitting is a universal experience. Throughout the world, people settle into chairs, stretch out on benches, perch on stools, sink into sofas or cushion themselves with a pillow, marking the body’s state as being both stationary yet dynamic. 

A Chair for all Reasons concentrated on materials and techniques in furniture craftsmanship, with the objects divided into five categories of daily life: home, work/school, kids, outdoors, and ritual.   Featuring 100 objects, A Chair for all Reasons exhibited chairs, benches, and stools from around the world. Eleven objects from Europe, three from Asia, five from Africa, five from Central America, two representing the New Mexican-Hispano tradition, and seventy from the USA (with several extraordinary “Outsider” creations).The majority of chairs are Anglo-American, from New England vernacular to contemporary studio furniture.

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Nuevo Mexico: El Corazon de la Cultura

in Lloyd's Treasure Chest
December 24, 2008 - September 27, 2009

Nuevo México: El Corazón de la Cultura, or New Mexico: The Heart of Culture, at the Museum of International Folk Art, showcased the best of Hispano/Latino arts of New Mexico from the early colonial period to 2008. This exhibition presented a unique opportunity to view these works of art up close and personal in Lloyd’s Treasure Chest while the Hispanic Heritage Wing underwent renovations from December 2008 to September 27, 2009.

Tradition, culture, soul, sprit, arte. These words have long come to symbolize the ambience of Nuevo México and the abundance of traditions that abound in our region.

Nuevo México: El Corazón de la Cultura, or New Mexico: The Heart of Culture, at the Museum of International Folk Art, includes all genres from metalsmithing, weaving, and new media to straw appliqué, tin work, recycled art and the art of the santero.  Items traded between New Mexico and Mexico and artifacts that would have come on the Manila galleons were also included. 

El Corazón de la Cultura opened Wednesday, December 24, 2008 and ran through September 27, 2009.

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Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia

Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia
March 8, 2009 - March 14, 2010

Wayang kulit performance of Indonesia is among the oldest and greatest story telling traditions in the world, is said to lie at the heart of Javanese culture. Wayang kulit are flat, elaborately painted and intricately carved and perforated leather shadow puppets that cast dazzling shadows through a cotton screen. Traditional performances last all night, beginning in the evening and lasting to dawn. Wayang Kulit performances are always accompanied by a gamelan orchestra—a traditional Indonesian musical ensemble that includes a variety of instruments such as gongs, drums, metallaphones, xylophones, stringed instruments, and vocalists.

 

Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia introduced the distinct form of wayang kulit found in Central Java. Various aspects of this performance art were explored, including gamelan, artistic techniques involved in making shadow puppets, the cast of characters, and regional variations of wayang. A puppet workshop, where Visitors of all ages made and played with shadow puppets was complemented by computer kiosks to learn more about Gamelan instruments and Shadow puppets.

This highly refined and complex art form may be performed to commemorate important rites-of-passage (such as circumcisions and weddings), holidays, national events (such as political elections), and personal accomplishments.

Performances are usually based on classical literature such as the Indian epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana with contemporary issues incorporated into particular scenes. In fact, the Museum of International Folk Art houses George Bush and Saddam Hussein shadow puppets. Important moral, ethical, and philosophical ideas are taught in every show, while entertaining the audience at times with roaring humor and special action-packed scenes.

The exhibit’s highlight was a 3.5 meter, double sided screen. Much like audiences in Central Java, museum visitors can watch dancing and battling shadows (on video) on one side of the screen and walk around the stage to watch (a video of) the shadow master at work from “behind the scenes.”

This award winning exhibit featured a full gamelan ensemble and the Museum’s own extraordinary collection of wayang kulit— a full set of over 200 gold and bronze-leafed Surakarta-style, court-based shadow puppets acquired from some of Java’s prominent puppeteers. The puppets flank the screen to the left and right creating the typical yet stunning arrangement that can be seen at actual performances in Central Java. Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia opened March 8, 2009 and closed March 14, 2010 and is available on-line

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Writing With Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities

Traveling exhibition
May 15, 2009 - August 16, 2009

Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities, featured a rare collection of entire ensembles of women’s, men’s and children’s ceremonial dress, baby carriers, quilt covers, festive and religious vestments, silver jewelry, embroidered silk valences, and wax-resist dyed curtains, plus a loom, weaving tools, and embroidery cases. 

More than 500 objects in Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities, represented 15 ethnic groups and nearly 100 subgroups in China.

This exhibition was curated by Angela Sheng, Assistant Professor of Chinese Art History at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada from the collection of the Evergrand Museum, Taoyuan, Taiwan. The exhibition closed in Santa Fe on August 16, 2009.


A Century of Masters:

The NEA Heritage Fellows of New Mexico
September 27, 2009 - January 31, 2011

Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts honors folk artists, storytellers, performers, and musicians throughout the United States for their contributions to traditional art forms. The National Heritage Fellows demonstrate artistic excellence and a commitment to their art forms through their processes, techniques, and transmission of the knowledge to others that strengthens and enriches their communities.

New Mexico residents are well-represented in this distinguished group of talented artists, especially given the size of the state’s population. The Museum of International Folk Art holds examples of the works of all the Fellows from New Mexico in its collections, from weavings, colcha embroidery and silversmithing, to pottery, tinwork, straw appliqué, hide painting, retablos, and woodcarving.

“The quality and range of artworks created by New Mexico’s National Heritage Fellows is impressive. The exhibit will stand as testimony to the dedication and skill of these talented artists;” said Dr. Joyce Ice, former Director of the Museum of International Folk Art.

A Century of Masters opened September 27, 2009 and closed January, 2011,  and celebrated the Museum of New Mexico’s 100th Anniversary. National Heritage Fellowship Artists from New Mexico featured in this exhibition: George López (artist, woodcarver, deceased) 1982

Margaret Tafoya (Santa Clara potter, deceased) 1984

Cleofes Vigil (storyteller, singer, deceased) 1984

Helen Cordero (Cochiti potter, deceased) 1986

Emilio & Senaida Romero (artists, tinwork and colcha embroidery, deceased) 1987

Frances Varos Graves (colcha embroiderer, deceased)1994

Ramón José López(artist, santero and silversmith) 1997 Roberto & Lorenzo Martinez (musicians) 2003 Charles M. Carrillo (artist, santero) 2006 Esther Martinez (San Juan storyteller, deceased) 2006 Eliseo & Paula Rodriguez (artists, straw appliqué) 2004 Irvin Trujillo (Rio Grande weaver) 2007. The exhibition closed January 31, 2011


Winter Holiday Celebrations from Around The World


December 16, 2009 - February 28, 2010

Happy Holidays and Holy Days

Lloyd’s Treasure Chest had a very special display highlighting winter celebrations.  Objects included menorahs and dreidels from Israel, nativities, cookie molds and a delightful selection of Tigers for Lunar New Year.  Lloyd’s Treasure Chest is located in the basement of the Neutrogena Wing, where visitors are invited to take a closer look at collection items, and learn about how Museums care for collections.


Material World:

Textiles and Dress from the Collection
December 20, 2009 - August 7, 2011

Material World presented a tantalizing glimpse into the Museum of International Folk Art’s largest collection of textiles and costumes stored in 57 closets and numerous trunks and drawers. The 138 rarely-seen items in this exhibition highlighted the remarkable breadth and depth of 20,000 objects ranging from everyday household articles to elaborately detailed ceremonial wear in the Museum’s textile collection.

The exhibition was accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue authored by exhibition curator Bobbie Sumberg. The catalog divides the textile and costume collection into two categories, textiles and dress, and into several subcategories: textiles for the bed; for the dwelling; for the church, temple, or ceremony; and, decorative pieces such as samplers. Dress is divided into headwear, outerwear, footwear, accessories, ceremonial, and complete ensembles.

Former Curator Bobbie Sumberg said, "Making and embellishing textiles can be a powerful tool of socialization and a reflection of cultural values. By looking at the production and use of textiles, numerous aspects of history and culture become illuminated. For example, gender roles within a family and within a society or culture are usually played out when cloth is made and worn.

The exhibition was in the Cotsen Gallery of the Neutrogena Wing from December 20, 2009 through August 7, 2011.

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Spring & Summer Celebrations

From Around the World
April 1, 2010 - August 17, 2010

Spring and summer celebrations from around the world in Lloyd’s Treasure Chest

Spring and summer celebrations from around the world in Lloyd’s Treasure Chest, an interactive space that encouraged Visitors to get closer to Museum collections.


Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda

The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda
June 6, 2010 - January 6, 2011

Nearly two hundred examples of Pineda’s acclaimed silver work were displayed in Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda, a traveling exhibition from the Fowler Museum at UCLA. 

In the mountain town of Taxco in Mexico’s state of Guerrero, large-scale mining can be dated to the sixteenth century, and silver is a way of life. In the years following the Mexican Revolution (1910–20), jewelry and other silver objects were crafted there with an entirely innovative approach, informed by modernism and the creation of a new Mexican national identity. Antonio Pineda was a member of the Taxco School and is recognized as a world-class designer.  He lived a long and creative life, passing away at the age of 90 on December 14, 2009.

 Nearly two hundred examples of Pineda’s acclaimed silver work were displayed in Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda, a traveling exhibition opening at the Museum of International Folk Art June 6, 2010 through January 2, 2011.

From its inception, the Taxco movement broke new ground in technical achievement and design. While American- born, Taxco-based designer William Spratling has been credited with spearheading the contemporary Taxco silver movement, it was a group of talented Mexican designers who went on to establish independent workshops and develop the distinctive “Taxco School.” Pineda, internationally renown for his silver work identified himself primarily as a taxqueño, or Taxco, silversmith. These designers incorporated numerous aesthetic orientations—Pre-Columbian art, silverwork, religious images, and other artwork from the Mexican Colonial period, and local popular arts—merging them within the broad spectrum of modernism.

Pineda himself is lauded for his bold designs and ingenious use of gemstones. Silver Seduction traced the evolution of his work from the 1930s–70s, and included more than a hundred necklaces and bracelets, as well as numerous rings, earrings, and diverse examples of his hollowware and tableware. All of the works feature Pineda’s hard-to-achieve combination of highly refined execution and hand-wrought appeal.

Pineda’s jewelry is especially known for its elegant acknowledgment of the human form. It is often said that a Pineda fits the body perfectly, that it feels right when it is worn. For example, a thick geometric necklace that might at first glance seem too weighty or rigid to wear comfortably is, in fact, faceted, hinged, or hollowed in such a way that it gracefully encircles the neck or drapes seductively down the décolletage.

 In addition, no other taxqueño jeweler used as many costly semiprecious stones or set them with as much ingenuity, skill, and variety as did Pineda. Only the most talented of silversmiths could master the unique challenges posed by setting gemstones in silver at the high temperature necessary to work the metal. Pineda, however, managed to set gems with as little metal touching them as possible, giving them a free or floating look while still holding them firmly in place. In Pineda’s hands, some stones were embedded; rows of gems were set close together to emphasize the structural lines of a design; or stones were cut to fit irregular shapes in a design. Pineda often used cultured pearls, large amethyst drops, and onyx in his designs, many examples of which are on display in the exhibition.

The remarkable creativity of this “Silver Renaissance” era represents a unique moment in the design of Mexican jewelry. Pineda’s and his colleagues’ modernist works lives on today in Taxco with a thriving industry in silver smithing.

Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda and its publication are made possible through the generosity of the Donald B. Cordry Memorial Fund and Jill and Barry Kitnick.  The exhibition was developed by the curatorial team of the Fowler Museum with consulting curator Gobi Stromberg. All works presented are either from the collections of Cindy Tietze and Stuart Hodosh or the Fowler Museum at UCLA.  Exhibition images may be found at http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/.

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Empowering Women:

Artisan Cooperatives That Transform Communities
July 4, 2010 - May 8, 2011

All of the cooperatives featured in this exhibit had artist booths at the 2010 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Exhibition highlights included weaving, beadwork, painting, baskets, embroidery and other traditional folk arts from Bolivia, Rwanda, Peru, Swaziland, India, Kenya, Laos, South Africa, Morocco and Nepal.

Inaugural exhibition opening the Gallery of Conscience, guest curated by Dr. Suzanne K. Seriff, Chair of the International Folk Art Market’s Artist Selection Committee. Dr. Marsha Bol, Director Emeritus of the Museum of International Folk Art explained the concept of the gallery of conscience "As the largest folk art museum in the world, there is a responsibility to create a forum to discuss current issues that folk artists are facing around the world. This Gallery of Conscience is devoted to the examination of issues that threaten the survival of the traditional arts, bringing them to the attention of our visitors." All of the cooperatives featured in the exhibit had artist booths at the 2010 International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe. Exhibition highlights included weaving, beadwork, painting, baskets, embroidery and other traditional folk arts from Bolivia, Rwanda, Peru, Swaziland, India, Kenya, Laos, South Africa, Morocco and Nepal.  The exhibition closed in Santa Fe May 8, 2011  and then began to travel through Guest Curator


Autumn Fiestas Feasts & Celebrations

September 7 to November 15, 2010
September 7, 2010 - November 15, 2010

Open storage display of items highlighting Fiestas, Feast days and Celebrations in the fall from around the world.


Multiple Visions: A Common Bond


On long-term display

Multiple Visions: A Common Bond has been the destination for well over a million first-time and repeat visitors to the Museum of International Folk Art. First, second, third, or countless times around, we find our gaze drawn by different objects, different scenes. With more than 10,000 objects to see, this exhibition continues to enchant museum visitors, staff and patrons.

The Girard Collection: Enduring Appeal It is entirely possible to be both delighted and overwhelmed by the Alexander Girard’s one-of-a-kind exhibition—even after more than twenty-five years. The vastness of the exhibit space, the complexity of the design, the sheer quantity of objects on display—the immensity and intensity can be overpowering. And compelling.That’s why Multiple Visions: A Common Bond has been the destination for well over a million first-time and repeat visitors to the Museum of International Folk Art. First, second, third, or countless times around, we find our gaze drawn by different objects, different scenes. With more than 10,000 objects to see, this exhibition continues to enchant museum visitors, staff and patrons.

With his singular vision and intuitive understanding of the multiplicity of cultures and artistic genres, perhaps Girard himself felt the same unflagging delight when he was designing the exhibit. Girard rewards those who look carefully with touches of wit and whimsy, amazing us with his command of detail and sense of perspective. He appeals to children and adults alike who peer into the sets from different angles, to glimpse people and animals, puppets, dolls, and small figures of clay, wood, paper, cloth, and, yes, even plastics. Some look familiar, clearly identifiable as the products of specific cultures and places. Others take us to places we can only imagine. Who can ever tire of going back to these places of enjoyment and creativity?

The Girard Family collection of more than 100,000 objects is unique in part because of its size and breadth: more than 100 countries on six continents are represented. Enjoy this text-free gallery with or without a docent, pick up a Gallery Guide to read more about the cases, or pick up a multi-media tour on an Ipod touch available at the front desk for no additional fee.

"I believe we should preserve this evidence of the past, not as a pattern for sentimental imitation, but as nourishment for the creative spirit of the present."

- Alexander Girard

 


Folk Art of the Andes


April 17, 2011 - March 10, 2013

Folk Art of the Andes was the first exhibit in the United States to feature a broad range of folk art from the Andean region of South America, showcasing more than 850 works of Andean folk art primarlity from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Folk Art of the Andes showcased weaving, embroidery, woodcarving, ceramics and metalwork that reflect the interweacing of indigenous folk traditions with European art forms and techniques. Highlights included costumes, jewelry, houshold objects, toys and more! The exhibit ran through September 9, 2012, in the Hispanic Heritage Wing, and through March 10, 2013 in the Bartlett Wing.  The exhibition was accompanied by a richly illustrated catalog,

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The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster

in the Gallery of Conscience
July 3, 2011 - April 29, 2012

The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster explored how folk artists helped their communities recover from four recent natural disasters: the Haitian Earthquake; Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast; Pakistani floods; and the recent volcanic eruption of Mt. Merapi in Indonesia. The exhibition opened July 3, 2011 in the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience  and closed April 29, 2012.

The Arts of Survival opened during 2011 International Folk Arts Week in Santa Fe, a community celebration that culminates with the 8th Annual International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe Highlights of the week will be artist demonstrations, artist talks, lectures, and more.

Dr. Marsha Bol, Director Emeritus of the Museum of International Folk Art described the ‘Gallery of Conscience;’ “…as a forum where current issues facing folk artists around the world can be discussed. With The Arts of Survival we continued our examination of issues threatening the survival of the traditional arts, bringing them to the attention of our visitors,” Dr, Bol continued; “As the largest folk art museum in the world we believe it is our responsibility to address issues that threaten to disrupt folk arts – and in the case of this exhibition – the effect of natural disaster on the folk art community.”

The Arts of Survival featured work by folk artists— poetry, spoken word, and photographic and video documentation to explore the many ways in which a country’s traditional arts and artists rally in times of disaster, to rebuild and renew, one day at a time. As tragic events and terrible forces become part of carnival masks, scrolls, paintings, and vodou flags, the events are memorialized and the pain they brought is brought to a manageable state. When the force of the Earth breaks the world into pieces, the pieces can be collected and sold to bring an artist a step closer to economic recovery.

Visitors to this second ‘Gallery of Conscience’ exhibit saw the devastation of the Haitian earthquake emblazoned into the carnival masks and sequined vodou flags; how a New Orleans quilter took the flood-stained bedclothes of her neighbors ruined home and made art that both restores and represents. Visitors heard the voices of the women whose centuries old tradition of ralli quilts bring comfort and color to the millions of flood refugees living in tent cities in Pakistan, and the puppeteers of Indonesia who incorporate the news of recent volcanic eruptions into their wayang performances.

 

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Young Brides, Old Treasures

Macedonian Embroidered Dress
October 1, 2011 - January 6, 2013

Macedonian ethnic dress has it all – it is full of meaning and significance, visually stunning, quite possibly overwhelming, and embodies the skill, expectations, hopes and fears, creative use of materials, and aesthetic sense of the individuals who made and wore it. Saturated with cultural meaning, these many-layered ensembles rank among the best examples of textile art anywhere.

The exhibition Young Brides, Old Treasures: Macedonian Embroidered Dress is on line. Until the mid-twentieth century, Macedonian women wove, embroidered, and wore magnificent ensembles of dress that indicated to a knowing eye what village and region they came from and where they were in the cycle of life. From puberty through betrothal, marriage, child bearing, and old age, dress changed to reflect status change. Historic ensembles, no longer made but preserved in the museum, also illustrate the tumultuous political history of the region; pan-Slavic, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences can be seen in embroidered motifs, materials, garments, and jewelry. The outstanding collection the Museum has dates primarily from 1890 to 1920 with some later pieces from the 1950s. The exhibit featrured 27 mannequins in multi-layered ensembles as well as individual garments and pieces of jewelry belonging to Museum of International Folk Art; the Collection was made complete with a large donation from the Macedonian Arts Council» so that it is today the largest and most comprehensive museum collection in the United States. The exhibition was complemented by a catalog

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New World Cuisine

The Histories of Chocolate, Mate Y Más
December 9, 2012 - January 5, 2014

An exploration of the dawn of world cuisine as we know—and consume—it today. New World Cuisine explored how foods around the world developed from mixing the old and the new, and how many of the tastiest dishes and desserts came to be associated with New Mexico. The exhibition was complemented with interactive gallery activities including a scent station, magnetic world map, and a special selection of chocolate and cuisine in the Museum Gift Shop.

New World Cuisine explored how foods around the world developed from mixing the old and the new, and how many of the tastiest dishes and desserts came to be associated with New Mexico.

The mixing of peoples and foods—the fusion of cultures and traditions referred to as mestizaje—began in August 1598. It was then that Juan de Oñate’s 500-strong expedition of soldiers, families, and Franciscan friars settled in New Mexico on the fertile and irrigated farmland of the Tewa Pueblos of Yungue and Okhay, located at the confluence of the Chama and Rio Grande Rivers.

The Old World gained new staple crops, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, maize, and cassava. Tomatoes, chili peppers, cacao, peanuts, and pineapples also were introduced, and some became culinary centerpieces in many Old World countries: the tomato in Mediterranean countries Italy, Greece, and Spain; the chili pepper in India, Korea, Thailand, and China, via the Philippines; and paprika made from chili peppers, in Hungary.

New World foods brought caloric and nutritional improvements over previously existing staples; others, like tomato and chili, complemented existing foods and traditional recipes, adding not only nourishment but also new, improved taste.

Because the New World’s vast and unpopulated fertile land was well suited for cultivating the same crops in high demand in Old World markets, the Americas became the main global supplier. Moreover, the increased supplies lowered prices for commodities such as sugar, coffee, soybeans, oranges, and bananas  making them affordable for the first time to the general population.

More than 300 objects objects from the museum’s vast collection of historical culinary items related to food harvesting, preparation, table settings, and utilitarian and decorative implements were displayed. Some examples are Asian and European spice jars retrofitted with intricately detailed locking metal lids in Mexico City to protect a household’s cacao from thieves; traditional pottery cooking vessels reimagined by metal smiths using hammered copper to accommodate the molinillo used to froth chocolate; talavera kitchen and tableware modeled after Chinese import porcelains; fine antique and contemporary silverware from Europe and the Americas. All provide insight into the importance placed on crafting exquisite food vessels and implements—and that you are what you eat with.

“It’s such a fabulous history,” curator Nicolasa Chávez said. “We borrowed a tiny pottery sherd from Chaco Canyon that was tested for theobroma (chocolate’s scientific name). I wanted that in the exhibit to really bring home to New Mexico that we’ve had a 1,000-year-old love affair with chocolate.”  The exhibition included an interactive scent station, magnetic map illuminating where foods come from, and in gallery and on social media,

   

View Online Exhibition Site

Plain Geometry Amish Quilts


March 3, 2013 - September 2, 2013

Plain Geometry Amish Quilts explored the origins and aesthetics of a tradition that has evolved in a changing world. These remarkably crafted textiles illustrate the influence of religious proscriptions, westward migration, and interaction with "English" neighbors. The exhibition opened March 3, 2013 and closed September 2, 2013.

Quilts in the exhibit llustrated the changes in everyday life that occurred when families moved west and established communities in Ohio, Indiana, and other Midwestern states. A somber color palette gave way to brighter colors and more complex pieced patterns. The use of cotton or wool fabrics, border width, and color choice were regionally specific as well and color preferences differed according to settlement and time period.

Some quilt designs on view were Diamond in Square and Bars. These large-piece patterns are related to an even earlier form called whole cloth quilts that were not pieced but made from one-color cloth. These quilts are the most recognizably Amish with their strong contrasting colors and fine quilting. The Pennsylvania Amish continued creating these patterns long after their brethren left for lands further west.

The exhibition included crib and doll quilts. These were made by an expectant mother or grandmother to welcome a new baby into the world. Crib quilts were more frequently made in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois than in Lancaster County.

Visitors of all ages enjoyed making thier own virtual quilt on the in-gallery IPad to save and share with other visitors.

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Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan


June 9, 2013 - July 27, 2014

Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan, an exhibition of more than 200 Japanese kites.

Japanese Kites have been a long delightful and entertaining tradition.  The exhibition featured traditional kites from various regions of Japan, and work by respected kite artists.  This exhibition explored the cultural, historical. artistic perspectives of kite making and flying. The exhibit was complemented with a video of kite fights in Japan and in-gallery kite making.  Public programs included Artist demonstrations, with kite making and flying.

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Let's Talk About This:

Folk Artists Respond to HIV/AIDS
July 7, 2013 - January 5, 2014

The Gallery of Conscience focused on folk artists’ responses to HIV/AIDS, both here in New Mexico, and around the world. The artists  and community special programs for International Folk Arts Week»—with equal parts humor and pathos and love.

The Gallery of Conscience became a new kind of experimental exhibition space at the Museum of International Folk Art in 2013. Everything in the gallery is a work in progress. Come in, linger, talk, share ideas and explore important issues of conscience together, drawing on the power of folk arts to “show and tell it like it is.”

We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alabama, 1965  

“You must not be ashamed to speak out, telling the community! When you keep quiet you sign your own death warrant.” Maria Rengane, embroiderer, South Africa


BRASIL & ARTE POPULAR


November 17, 2013 - January 5, 2015

A fascinating of unique and vibrant folk traditions were presented in BRASIL & ARTE POPULAR, the exhibition opened Sunday, November 17, 2013 and closed January 5, 2015.

This show featured over 300 pieces from the museum’s rich Brazilian collection: woodblock prints, colorful ceramic and wood folk sculptures, toys and puppets, religious art, festival costumes, and more.

The varied cultural mix found throughout the vast region of Brazil not only draws from the original indigenous inhabitants, but also from the Portuguese colonists who began to settle there in the sixteenth century, as well as the enslaved Africans brought by the Europeans.  The majority of work in the exhibit was from the twentieth century when folk artists found that they had more freedom to portray their history, folklore, and daily life. Religious practitioners could now carry out their rituals openly and festival performers were able to draw from old traditions and use contemporary issues to create lively pageants and dramas.

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Work in Progress:

Folk Artists on Immigration -- Exhibition Lab
March 10, 2014 - June 1, 2014

Work in Progress: Folk Artists on Immigration was the prototype for the exhibition lab, preceeding the “official”  exhibition opening with a convening of international and local artists at MOIFA, in conjunction with the International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe,  July 2014.

Work in Progress: Folk Artists on Immigration -- Visitors to the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) had a unique opportunity to actively participate in developing the new exhibit on the timely topic of immigration.  Work in Progress: Folk Artists on Immigration, a participatory exhibit lab explored issues of home, immigration and belonging, in the Museum’s Mark Naylor & Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience.  The Gallery of Conscience is located in the West Gallery of the Bartlett Wing; opening in 2010 with Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities, this space continues to engage visitors with meaningful interactive activities.

The public was invited to participate in facilitated dialogues, giving feedback and leaving their thoughts and stories in order to help shape the content and form of the exhibition. The Work in Progress space displayed handmade embroidery, carving, paintings, drawings, and beadwork about immigrant journeys made by artists from the Americas, Africa and Asia. Gallery activites included tracing your route, a world map illustrating our connections with string; along with writing and drawing activities amidst the art works by contemporary folk artists.

This exhibit lab was made possible through the support of Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn, the International Folk Art Alliance, the International Folk Art Foundation, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Exhibition Development Fund, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Our dialogue series is part of the National Dialogues on Immigration Project of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. 


Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico


April 6, 2014 - February 15, 2015

One of the most far-reaching exhibits of New Mexico animal wood carvings, Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico, debuted at the Museum of International Folk Art on April 6, 2014 with 107 artworks made by such masters as Felipe Archuleta, Patrociñio Barela, and José Dolores López. The exhibition closed February 15, 2015.

During the Work Progress Administration (WPA) period of the 1930’s, the traditional arts of the region gained resurgence through federal programmed that trained and employed New Mexican folk artists, In 1936, Patrocino Barela’s expressionistic woodcarvings created under the auspices of the Federal Arts Project were a part of New Horizons in American Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The wood carving tradition continued into the 1960’s primarily for the tourist trade with classic carvings of burros and oxen drawn carts. During this time artists started experimenting with recycled materials and common household paint. The decade of the 1970’s was a dramatic period that fostered the powerful animistic forms of Felipe Archuleta and his workshop of carvers. By the 1980’s Archuleta’s animal sculptures were highly sought after by collectors and curators. His menagerie of domestic and exotic animals made their way to museum exhibits in New York, Paris and Tokyo. This exhibition celebrated the rich Hispano folk tradition of animal wood carving in New Mexico and the continued influence on the national and international scene. The exhibition highlighted the historic roots of New Mexican woodcarvers, offering early twentieth century examples of whimsical animals including works by Jose Dolores Lopez and Celso Gallegos. The excitement around the workshops of the New Mexican animal carvers created an insatiable market that spurred on innovations by Alonso Jimenez, Jim Davila, David Alvarez and Leroy Ortega. This generation of carvers fostered the iconic images of friendly burros, howling coyotes, and Technicolor rattlesnakes, reaching deep into the popular culture of the Southwestern United States. These animal sculptures have become emblematic of Santa Fe’s cultural character. The Museum of International Folk Art gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their support: The International Folk art Foundation, The Museum of New Mexico Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation and the Museum of New Mexico Exhibitions Development Fund.

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Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience

in the Mark Naylor & Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience
July 6, 2014 - April 3, 2016

The Gallery of Conscience is an experimental space where the public is invited to help shape the content and form of the exhibition through interactive elements and facilitated dialogues.  The gallery changes in response to community input, and is temporarily closed for interim changes. 

An exhibition on immigration that features fiber arts, carving, paintings and works on paper about immigrant journeys and the challenges of transitioning to a new home. Traditional artists from the Americas, Africa and Asia articulate the hopes, fears, and challenges of newcomers in an unfamiliar and sometimes unwelcoming place.  This exhibit is made possible in part by an Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn, the International Folk Art Alliance, the International Folk Art Foundation, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Director’s Leadership and Exhibitions Development Funds, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Our dialogue series is part of the National Dialogues on Immigration Project of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.


Pottery of the U.S. South:

A Living Tradition
October 24, 2014 - November 15, 2015

Pottery was crucial to agrarian life in the U.S. South, with useful forms such as pitchers, storage jars, jugs, and churns being most in demand for the day-to-day activities of a household and farm. Today, a century after that lifeway began to change, potters in the South continue to make vital wares that are distinctively Southern. The Museum of International Folk Art celebrated this “living tradition” of American regional culture with the exhibition 

Pottery of the U.S. South presented traditional stoneware from North Carolina and northern Georgia — current works characterized by earthy local clays and surprising effects of wood firing. Rooted in British and German ceramic traditions and once crucial to Southern agrarian life, Southern pottery today remains vital, a distinctive art form through which potters actively engage with their region in ways both old and new. As museum visitors explored these ways, they were invited to consider for themselves the dynamics of a living tradition.

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The Red That Colored The World


May 17, 2015 - September 13, 2015

As a symbol and hue, red has risen to the pinnacle of the color spectrum. Yet few know of its most prolific and enduring source: Cochineal.

From Antiquity to today, as symbol and hue, red has risen to the pinnacle of the color spectrum. Throughout art history, a broad red brushstroke has colored the finest art and expressions of daily life. Yet, while most people know red, few know of its source: American Cochineal, a tiny scaled insect that produces carminic acid. Fewer still know the story behind its explosive global spread after its first encounter by Spain in 16th century Mexico. Explore this fascinating story in the exhibition catalog, A Red Like No Other.Following the cochineal bug from Central American to the United States, Europe and beyond, Red displayed more than 130 objects from the Museum’s collection, private lenders and internal museums.  Each object reflected the unique uses of color and how one bug has influenced art, culture and trade throughout the world.Ths exhibition was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: exploring the human endeavor.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition did not necesaarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Additional support came from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, The Interantional Folk Art Foundation, The Folk Art Committee,  Newman/’s Own Foundation, and Hotel Santa Fe The Hacienda & Spa.


FLAMENCO: From Spain to New Mexico

In the Hispanic Heritage Wing
November 22, 2015 - September 10, 2017

Passionate, fiery, sensual, intense In-depth examination of the history and culture of flamenco dance and music.

The Museum of International Folk Art presents Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico, the most comprehensive exhibition to celebrate and study this living tradition as an art form. The exhibition opened November 22, 2015 and runs through September 10, 2017.  More than 150 objects are featured. Among them, items once used by renowned artists Encarnación López y Júlvez “La Argentinita”, José Greco, and Vicente Romero and María Benítez (both from New Mexico). In addition to other stunning loans from private collectors will be those from the museum’s expansive permanent collection.

Known as a folkloric art form that began among the Gypsy people of southern Spain, this exhibition traces Flamenco to its arrival in the U.S. and its rise as an international art form now enjoyed by millions. The exhibition features costumes, play bills, instruments, and paintings, complemented by lectures, workshops and performances.  Tracing flamenco’s journey from fifteenth and sixteenth century Spain to twentieth century Europe’s most cultured cities will be costumes both historic and contemporary, musical instruments, costume and set design sketches, playbills, sheet music, posters, and more. These objects chronicle flamenco’s evolution from rural, folkloric tradition to elaborate staged productions incorporating extravagantly costumed dancers accompanied by virtuoso guitarists. The objects also trace flamenco’s transition to recording studios and the silver screen permitting it to gain a massive popular audience. Handed down from generation to generation, between family and community members living at society’s edges, flamenco incorporates historic dance and music traditions from Roman times to the Arabic period. Flamenco expresses a way of life shaped by a multitude of cultural and regional influences such as the Gitanos (Romany people) of Spain and Andalusian regional customs. In 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This exhibition also examines Spain’s ferias and fiestas their introduction to the southwestern US, and the individuals who contributed to making flamenco a popular art form in this country. And as the exhibition title suggests, flamenco’s integration into New Mexico’s culture will be examined.  This exhibition is the first ever to show the history and development of flamenco and its treasured role within the cultural milieu of New Mexico. The exhibition is accompanied by the book, The Spirit of Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico, by Nicolasa Chávez (Museum of New Mexico Press, Jacketed hardbound $39.95 ISBN:978-0-89013-608-9, 192 pages, 86 color and 54 black-and-white photographs).

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Sacred Realm: Blessings & Good Fortune Across Asia

in the Cotsen Gallery, Neutrogena Wing
February 28, 2016 - March 19, 2017

 What more can we ask than for blessings and good fortune? Whether perceived as miraculous boons or a response to ceremonious prayer, blessings and good fortune come in many forms and bring joy, comfort, and balance to our lives. God, deities, nature spirits, and other unseen forces exist in human belief, which can bring both great harm and great fortune to people on earth.

Almost universally, yet through varied means and belief systems, people have found ways to connect with these powers to bring stability to their lives, to divert ill-will and harm, and to attract love, fertility, prosperity, longevity, and safety ... essentially, to harness protection, blessings, and good fortune for themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. This exhibit invites visitors to explore some of the ways in which people seek and secure blessings and good fortune in Asia, a vast and culturally diverse region. Presented are amulets, votive offerings, and ritual objects – objects with other-worldly, divine qualities. These intricate and thoughtfully made works of art are drawn mostly from the museum’s Asian collection and are exhibited together with unique media and engaging interactive gallery components.

"Sacred Realm” reflects wide-ranging practices of belief that, at the same time, depict the common human desire to attain balance and harmony in the physical and spiritual realms of life.

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The Morris Miniature Circus: Return of the Little Big Top


April 3, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Built over the course of forty years by W.J. “Windy” Morris (1904–1978) of Amarillo, Texas, the Morris Miniature Circus is a 3/8”-scale circus model that was acquired by the museum in 1984 and exhibited in 1986. In 2016, the museum will restore and install the Circus once again.

After 30 years, the beloved Morris Miniature Circus returns to the Museum of International Folk Art.  In 2016, the museum will restore and install the Circus once again. The Morris Circus is modeled after a 1930s “railroad circus,” back in the days when a circus would come to town by rail, set up in a day, perform for a local audience, then pack up and move on to the next venue. Morris fondly remembered the excitement that accompanied the arrival of the circus of his youth—with its steam calliope, horse-drawn circus wagons, and parade of performers and animals—and sought to preserve those memories when he began the Morris Circus in the 1930s. The Circus consists of an estimated 100,000 pieces, all made by Morris through a variety of techniques from woodcarving and painting to clay modeling and mold making. The return of the Morris Miniature Circus will be accompanied by a range of activities and public programs.

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Catching Dreams Atrapando Suenos

After School Program Student Art Exhibit
April 10, 2016 - May 1, 2016

Second annual installation of artwork by students participating in the Museum of International Folk Art’s after school program.

Catching Dreams- Atrapando Suenos

MOIFA After School Program Second Annual Student Art exhibit. The After School Program is supported by the Ames Family Foundation, La Farge Foundation, Wells Fargo, Diane Gibbs, Nan & John Dieterich, Sara & RW Haber, Toni Fammartino, Glenn & Grace Whitecotten, Ed Stepp, Design Buiders, Susan Sugg and Carol and Dirk Novosad.

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No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art


March 12, 2017 - September 16, 2018

Tramp art is the product of industry, a style of woodworking from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that made use of discarded cigar boxes and fruit crates that were notched and layered to make a variety of domestic objects.

No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art will present more than 150 examples of tramp art, concentrating on works the from the United States, with additional examples from France, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Canada, Mexico and Brazil to demonstrate the far reach this art form has had.

This is the first large-scale museum exhibition dedicated to tramp art since 1975. For many years, “tramp art” was believed to have been made by itinerants and hobos, thus its name. It has been demonstrated that this notion is largely erroneous, however the name “tramp art” has remained the only terminology used for this practice, and the paucity of scholarly studies to dispel the mistaken notions about tramp art have allowed the myths to persist. No Idle Hands will examine the assumptions related to class, quality, and the anonymity of the makers of tramp art and consider this practice instead through the lens of home and family while tracing its relationship to industry—whether as individual ethos or big industry. No Idle Hands will also include works by contemporary makers, thus establishing tramp art as an ongoing folk art form rather than a vestige of the past.


Negotiate, Navigate, Innovate: Strategies Folk Artists Use in Today's Global Marketplace

in the Mark Naylor & Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience
June 4, 2017 - July 16, 2018

The  Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience is an experimental gallery inside the Museum of International Folk Art where the public is invited to help shape the content and form of the exhibition in real tme.

Visitors notice the Gallery of Conscience looks different than the rest of the museum.  In this gallery, visitors are invited behind the scenes to participate directly in the creation of an exhibition.  That is why the space looks informal and unpolished- it’s on purpose.  The Gallery of Conscience team seeks to make visitors feel welcome to write comments, leave thoughts and participate in the exhibition’s creation.

Negotiate, Navigate, Innovate is about contemporary folk artists and their relationship with their patrons, buyers and collectors. We are especially interested in understanding the pressures they might feel to keep their traditions alive in the face of modern technological advances and new consumer demands. Visitors will see a kind of "mock up" or series of idea sketches. The artworks will come at a later point in the process- after we have heard from visitors, artists and local community members. 

See six digital stories created as part of a six month master apprenticeship program in 2016, that focues on cross-generational conversation, documentation and learning of traditonal New Mexican folk arts

Iyamopo: My Life in Indigo  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93BQvlaWLoQ

Pueblo Weaving  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dre1SamDIXQ

Native Arts: Rooted in Tradition  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iffnsiFva7k

Colcha Embroidery: Stitching a Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2H7J6SyFI8

Unfolding Tradition  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4Lxduz1IFo

Loving Creations in Clay  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-06LO_f2emk


Artistic Heritage: Syrian Folk Art

on Display in Lloyd's Treasure Chest
June 4, 2017 - July 29, 2018

Folk Art is a treasure, and Lloyd’s Treasure Chest offers a participatory gallery experience highlighting the Museum’s permanent collection of over 136,000 objects of international folk art from over 100 countries, representing thousands of unique cultures. Because the entire collection can never be on view at the same time, collections are carefully stored and cared for in rooms such as our Neutrogena Vault, which visitors can view from the Treasure Chest gallery.

Folk Art is a treasure, and Lloyd’s Treasure Chest offers a participatory gallery experience highlighting the Museum’s permanent collection of over 136,000 objects of international folk art from over 100 countries, representing thousands of unique cultures. Because the entire collection can never be on view at the same time, collections are carefully stored and cared for in rooms such as our Neutrogena Vault, which visitors can view from the Treasure Chest gallery.

Visitors are invited to think about folk art. In fact, there is no one definition of folk art. In collecting and displaying folk art, the museum considers various concepts: Folk art is traditional art, reflecting shared cultural aesthetics, community values, priorities, and social issues. Folk art may change over time and include innovations in traditions. Folk art is handmade, although it may include new, synthetic, or recycled components. Folk art may constitute income and empowerment for an individual, a family, or a community. Folk art may be art of the everyday or reserved for special occasions. Folk art may be learned formally or informally, from family or other artists. Folk art may be intangible, including various forms of expressive culture like dance, song, poetry, and food ways. Folk art is of, by, and for the people. We mean all people, inclusive of class, culture, community, ethnicity, and religion. Together, we can consider the multitude of perspectives and come closer to understanding “What is Folk Art?”

Rotating thematic displays will offer close-up views of the museum’s folk art collection. In collaboration with the New Mexico History Museum’s exhibition Syria: Cultural Patrimony Under Threat, opening June 23, 2017;   MOIFA’s display of Syrian folk art opened June 4, 2017. Hands on activities appropriate for ages 3 to 103 in the gallery include: coloring activities, origami and a Javanese musical instrument.  The cultural context of folk art can be explored with a map, book area. The notion that Folk Art may be intangible is explored with a musical instrument: a gender, a gamelan instrument The re-opening brings back some old favorites from past exhibitions, including “Last of the Red Hot Lovers”, an American sculpture made from recycled metal by artist Dwight Martinek (aka “Wild Willie”), “The Followers of Ghandi” by renowned Master Folk artists Nek Chand, and a Wedding Rickshaw from Bangladesh.


Quilts of Southwest China


July 9, 2017 - January 21, 2018

Chinese quilts have received little attention from scholars, collectors, or museums.  The examples featured here offer an introduction based on new research by a bi-national consortium of American and Chinese museums, including participation by the Museum of International Folk Art.  Embodying layers of history, identity, and expertise, these quilts reveal new insights into the contemporary lives of minority communities adapting to a period of great change in China.

In southwest China, traditional bed coverings, clothing, and household items have long been made from patched and appliqued scraps to create artistic and functional textiles. A bi-national consortium of American and Chinese museums has worked together to document and research these quilts, an art form little known outside certain ethnic minority communities. Although the making and using of these quilts have declined, a surge of renewed interest among scholars, artists, and locals is leading to growing efforts to study the textiles and the skills needed to continue making them.

Download coloring pages from this exhibition.

This exhibit is sponsored by The Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support comes from the International Folk Art Foundation; the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and donors to the Exhibitions Development Fund; and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Project partners include Yunnan Nationalities Museum (Kunming, Yunnan, China); Anthropology Museum of Guangxi (Nanning, Guangxi, China); Guizhou Nationalities Museum (Guiyang, Guizhou, China); Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan, USA); Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana, USA); the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA); the American Folklore Society; and the Chinese Folklore Society.


Crafting Memory: The Art of Community in Peru


December 3, 2017 - March 10, 2019

This exhibition explores the new directions taken by current Peruvian folk artists during the recent decades of social and political upheaval and economic change. The exhibition will highlight the biographies and social histories of contemporary artists along with examples of work that preserve family tradition, reimagine older artforms, reclaim pre-Columbian techniques and styles, and forge new directions for arte popular in the 21st century.

The past forty years have been a time of tremendous change in the Andes, beginning with the Agrarian Reform of 1969 that broke up the large haciendas; a twenty-year internal armed conflict with the Shining Path that engulfed the 1980’s and 1990’s and claimed nearly 70,000 lives; economic swings, rapid development, the recent large investment in preserving archaeological heritage and the current booming tourism industry. 

All of these forces have all shaped the lives of artists and informed the art they create.  Crafting Memory visits a series of contemporary folk artists in Peru and places their work within this larger framework of Peruvian history and social change. The exhibition will explore the many routes through which craft and folk arts are learned and practiced, including multigenerational crafting families, self-taught artisans, and others who came to folk arts as a means of economic survival during the time of violence.  The show includes a third generation silversmith reviving the art of tupus or shawl stick pins that were worn during the Inca Empire; the art of war orphans from the 1980’s who were trained in traditional arts to give hope in dark times; and a collective of young artists in Lima using the medium of silk screening to promote conversations between rural highland and jungle communities with their counterpart migrant neighborhoods in the city, celebrating their shared arts, culture, and customs and emphasizing the value of the handmade, and the ideas, values, and aesthetics that arise from Cultura Popular - common people and everyday life.


Beadwork Adorns the World


April 22, 2018 - February 3, 2019

Extraordinary how a small glass bead from the island of Murano (Venice, Italy) or the mountains of Bohemia (Czech Republic) can travel around the world, entering into the cultural life of people far distant. 

Glass beads are the ultimate migrants.  Where they start out is seldom where they end up.  No matter where they originate, the locale that uses them makes them into something specific to their own world view.

This exhibition is about what happens to these beads when they arrive at their final destination, whether it be the African continent (Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa), to Borneo, to Burma, to India, Native North America to Latin America (Mexico, Bolivia to Ecuador).  However, this exhibit is not actually about beads, rather it is about the working beads resulting in Beadwork, and what a collective of beads in a garment or an object reveals about the intentions of its makers or users.


Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One


August 11, 2018 - September 16, 2018

Every One is a work of art and activism about gender violence in indigenous communities.

Individuals and organization across North America participated in this social collaboration, creating a monumental portrait of loss comprised of more than 4,000 ceramic beads, each representing a missing or murdered indigenous woman in Canada.


A Gathering of Voices: Folk Art from the Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg Collection


December 16, 2018 - August 25, 2019

A Gathering of Voices celebrates the promised gift of the folk art collection of Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg. Comprising primarily ceramic traditions from Mexico, Spain, France, Hungary, Morocco, and numerous other countries, the collection also includes rich holdings of New Mexico santos, Latin American retablos, and metalwork, furniture and textiles from around the world. The exhibition brings together the various voices of international cultures and living traditions, through the vision of one collector.

The unique installation of A Gathering of Voices reflects how Espinar has lived with folk art, animating the objects through groupings that guide the viewer to cross-cultural comparisons of certain motifs, forms, or techniques. These “inhabited spaces” are re-created in the gallery, along with deeper investigations of individual artists, their workshops, or the traditions they keep alive.

Judith Espinar was one of the cofounders of the International Folk Art Market, which was established in 2004 and is today the largest event of its kind focused on the work of master folk artists. She previously worked in the fashion industry in New York for more than 30 years, before moving to Santa Fe, where she owned and operated the longtime Santa Fe ceramic store The Clay Angel.

Photo: Addison Doty


Community through Making From Peru to New Mexico

Comunidad a través de la Creación De Perú a Nuevo México
January 6, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Community through Making brings together local and Peruvian artists to explore how art shapes healthy and vibrant communities. The installation is a conversation across borders, highlighting three collaborative projects that paired local artists and artists from Peru for 10-day residencies in conjunction with the exhibition Crafting Memory: The Art of Community in Peru. This exhibition in the Gallery of Conscience experiments with community curation, filling the gallery with video, stories, and artworks as created and told by museum program participants over the course of the spring and summer of 2018.

Places of Memory, pairs members of two Indigenous women-led organizations: Tewa Women United/TWU (Española, New Mexico) and the National Association of the Families of the Abducted, Detained, and Disappeared of Peru/ANFASEP (Ayacucho, Peru) to explore the culturally specific ways they use art to heal community and individual trauma. Street Art and Activism, is a convening of muralists, printers, and painters whose work engages contemporary social issues with a focus on public visibility. Rivers of Plastic brings together sculptors Aymar Ccopacatty (Aymara) and Nora Naranjo Morse (Santa Clara), who both see their home landscapes being transformed by plastic waste and use sculpture to open conversations about this intrusive and persistent material.

Throughout the course of the exhibition, Alas de Agua Art Collective will be creating a mural inside the museum.


Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe


May 5, 2019 - October 27, 2019

Alexander Girard was one of the most influential interior and textile designers of the 20th century. Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe is the first major retrospective on Girard’s work, organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. It opens a door to his creative universe and shows his close relationships with contemporaries such as Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Andy Warhol, Rudi Gernreich, and many others. Featured are Girard’s designs in textiles, furniture, and sculptures, as well as numerous sketches, drawings, and collages never shown before.

Girard was also a pivotal figure in the history of the Museum of International Folk Art, donating more than 100,000 objects from his and his wife Susan’s folk art collection, and in 1981 creating the museum’s long-term, beloved exhibition Multiple Visions. Girard’s playful designs attest to a passion for colors, ornamentation, and inspirations from folk art.

Coinciding with this traveling retrospective, the Museum of International Folk Art will enhance the visitor experience of its Girard collection exhibition, Multiple Visions, through interpretive and interactive elements designed for the 21st century.

Photo: Design for matchboxes of the restaurant La Fonda del Sol, Alexander Girard, 1960 / Alexander Girard Estate, Vitra Design Museum.


Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico

In the Hispanic Heritage Wing
October 6, 2019 - January 3, 2021

The exhibition Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico will open in the Hispanic Heritage Wing September 22, 2019. The exhibition will focus on the rich history of traditional Hispano music from the arrival of the Spanish through the present.  Once in New Mexico, historic European traditions took on a new life and feel, blending with Native customs and reflecting the land, time, and place where these folkloric songs and traditions developed.

The exhibition will explore different forms of music such as special music played at different life stages (songs of birth, weddings, death), seasonal music (songs for Christmas, Lent, and  Harvest seasons) ,as well as liturgical and secular plays and reenactments. For example, one such tradition is that of Moros y Cristianos, which is based on medieval folk plays that re-enact the final battle between a newly unified Spain and the Moors who ruled for 800 years. The play represents multiethnic heritage and influences in Spanish culture and is the only play today still performed entirely on horseback. Another popular folk play, Los Comanches, is based entirely on historical events in the Southwestern US. This play depicts the joining of forces between the Spanish settlers and Pueblo Indians to fight and keep the invading Comanches out of New Mexican lands. There are several versions of this reenactment, each with its own unique flavor. Another popular tradition is El Baile de los Matachines which is still practiced in both Hispano and Genízaro villages and Native Pueblos, from the Río Arriba (Northern New Mexico) all the way south to Mexico & Guatemala.

The exhibition will feature close to 75 objects from the museum’s permanent collection and from private collections around the state. Some of these items include: a Matachines danzante costume; a 19th century New Mexican-made violin; a hand carved wooden matraca (rattle) made by Cordova artist José Dolores López; an antique handwritten book of Alabados (religious chants sung during Holy Week and at Funerals); and contemporary instruments made by musician Cipriano Vigil and other local New Mexican artists. A New Mexico Music Living Treasure, Vigil served as special consultant for the exhibition. Photographs and memorabilia will accompany the objects. The exhibition will include a substantial amount of the newly-digitized sound footage from the museum’s archives.  Video footage will also showcase contemporary practices of New Mexican traditions that continue today including the Baile de Los Matachines, Las Posadas and Los Pastores, Moros y Cristianos, Dar los días and Los Comanches. New recordings also include interviews and footage of traditions that are handed down from elder to younger generations. Sound and video stations will be included in the exhibition along with a space for live in gallery performances. Museum visitors will be able to access online materials and continue listening to the museum’s rich store of historic music long after they have left the museum.

Photo Caption: The Character of El Demonio smiling after chasing away a group of shepherds in La Gran Pastorela, or Los Pastores (The Shepherds), a holiday play performed by the Jarales Choir Group for the Our Living Hispanic Heritage Project of the Museum of New Mexico [ca. 1980]. Photo by Mark Nohl, Moifa Archives.


Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan


December 8, 2019 - December 8, 2020

Vivid in Japanese art and imagination are creatures that are at once ghastly and comical. Yokai generally refers to demons, ghosts, shapeshifters, and “strange” and supernatural beings. Specific creatures are commonly associated with classical literature, folklore, theatrical performances, festivals, art, and other forms of expressive culture. Yokai are also prevalent in contemporary Japanese popular culture; you find them in manga (comics), anime (animation), and character-based games such as Pokémon (“pocket monster”).

Vivid in Japanese art and imagination are creatures that are at once ghastly and comical. Yokai generally refers to demons, ghosts, shapeshifters, and “strange” and supernatural beings. Specific creatures are commonly associated with classical literature, folklore, theatrical performances, festivals, art, and other forms of expressive culture. Yokai are also prevalent in contemporary Japanese popular culture; you find them in manga (comics), anime (animation), and character-based games such as Pokémon (“pocket monster”).

The Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) is currently planning the exhibition, Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan, which is scheduled to open on December 7, 2019. Narrative arts such as Muromachi Period scroll paintings, Edo Period woodblock prints, and contemporary folk art that depict or involve yokai will illustrate their eerie tales. Ghost and demon characters also appear in classical theatrical performances and special festival events. Contemporary Noh masks and festival costumes and the artists who make them will be a particular exhibition highlight. Toys, games, comic books, and cartoons will connect the past to the present, and the classical to the popular in terms of visual arts and culture. In addition to participatory gallery crafts, the exhibition will include an immersive, family-friendly obake yashiki (a Japanese “ghost house”), a popular form of entertainment in Japanese amusement parks.


Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia


June 21, 2020 - September 12, 2021

Getting dressed is a creative act, an expression of self and social connection. Getting dressed can also be an artistic performance meant to persuade. Dressing with Purpose examines three dress traditions today—Norwegian bunad, Sami gákti, and Swedish folkdräkt—in light of more than two centuries of social and political change across Scandinavia.

Starting in the 19th century, many in Sweden worried about the ravages of industrialization, urbanization, and out migration on traditional ways of life. Norway was gripped in a struggle for national independence. Indigenous Sami communities—artificially divided by national borders and long resisting harsh assimilation policies—rose up in protests that sparked cultural renewal. Throughout, people have put on special clothing to communicate powerful messages of unity and opposition, to fight for self-determination, to demonstrate commitment to cherished beliefs. The creative reworking of tradition continues today with dress revivals, reconstructions, and inventions, each meant to fashion a new future.

This exhibition presents historic and newly-made ensembles, jewelry and accessories, alongside the stories of makers and wearers who contemplate enduring questions about belonging, individual rights to shared forms of cultural expression, and most importantly, our responsibilities to each other in the co-creation of community in pluralistic societies.