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Museum of International Folk Art
Exhibitions: Current

Between Two Worlds:
Folk Artists Reflect on The Immigrant Experience

In the Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience
West Bartlett Gallery
July 6, 2014- May 24, 2015
Jetha 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. Each exhibition changes throughout its life in response to visitor feedback and community participation. Opening on Sunday July 6, to kick off International Folk Arts Week, is Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience, 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 those who leave their homes to settle in a new place, those left behind, and those who welcome them in their midst. national dialogue logoImage : Mozambique artist Camurdino Mustafá Jethá holds his sculpture Refugiados (Refugees), 2013. Photo courtesy of Laura Marcus Green. 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, nealogothe 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.

Polish Church Girard WingMultiple Visions: A Common Bond
Long-term Exhibition, Girard Wing
This unique exhibition designed by the collector and donor, Alexander Girard». Since the opening in 1982, more than a million visitors have been delighted by the richly varied displays in numbered cases- toys, and traditional folk art from more than 100 countries. Take a tour with a Docent, or explore this text-free gallery on your own with the printed gallery guide or Ask about the NEW multimedia tour at the front desk! Link to Press Release


Daruma Kite, c 1960Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan

In the Bartlett Wing EXTENDED THROUGH July 27, 2014
A popular pastime and festival activity for centuries, Japanese kites remain a delightful and entertaining tradition. Traditional kites from Japan are made from a split bamboo framework and layers of handmade washi paper. The kites are often finished with colorful painted narrative illustrations, legendary heroes, and design elements that reflect Japanese folklore. Everything about these kites is based on kite-making traditions and aesthetics of distinct regions within Japan.

This exhibit presents traditional kites from various regions of Japan and introduces a number of respected traditional kite artists. It explores cultural, historic, and artistic perspectives of kite-making and kite-flying in Japan. Visitors can participate in the artistic process of making kites through engaging gallery activities. Public programming for this exhibit will include lectures, kite-making workshops, and kite-flying on the plaza at Museum Hill. (Photo: Daruma Kite, c. 1960, From the collection of David M. Kahn)

Brasil & Arte Popular
In the Cotsen Gallery, Neutrogena Wing
November 17, 2013 - January 4, 2015

Woodblock print by José Francisco Borges, Bezerros, Pernambuco, Brazil, 1990A fascinating range of unique and vibrant folk traditions are presented featuring over 350 pieces from the museum’s rich Brazilian collection, ranging from graphic woodblock prints, colorful ceramic and wood folk sculptures, toys, puppets, and religious art, to lively festival dramas with dance, music and costumes. 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 curator, Barbara Mauldin, tells us that “eventually merging traditions created the dynamic cultural fusion that is so uniquely Brazilian.” The majority of work in the exhibit is 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. About the Photo: Bumba-Meu-Boi is a comical and very popular folk drama brought to Brazil by the Portuguese colonizers in the eighteenth century. The original plot centers around the death and resurrection of a prized bull, but the story has been adapted to reflect typical northeast Brazilian rural life, involving many varied and costumed characters in a series of comic episodes. Today it is performed throughout Brazil during the Christmas holidays, Carnival, and June festivals. Woodblock print by José Francisco Borges, Bezerros, Pernambuco, Brazil, 1990. IFAF Collection, FA.1991.17.52.


Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico
In the Hispanic Heritage Wing
April 6, 2014 to February 15, 2015
WoodenmenagerieThis exhibition celebrates the rich Hispano folk tradition of animal wood carving in New Mexico and the continued influence on the national and international scene. The exhibition highlights the historic roots of New Mexican woodcarvers, offering early twentieth century examples of whimsical animals including works by Jose Dolores Lopez and Celso Gallegos.

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 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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