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Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe
About Us : History

Since the opening in September 1953, the Museum of International Folk Art has gained national and international recognition as an accredited Museum that is home to the world’s largest collection of folk art». The collection of more than 150,000 artifacts forms the basis for exhibitions in four distinct wings: Bartlett, Girard, Hispanic Heritage, and Neutrogena. In 2003, the Museum celebrated 50 years» of documenting, collecting, preserving and interpreting the creative works of traditional artists from cultures around the world.


Florence Dibell Bartlett Florence Dibell Bartlett founded the world's first international folk art Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As a witness to two world wars, Florence Bartlett believed that encouraging people to interact with folk art and with one another would help promote cultural understanding.

The Bartlett Wing, named in honor of museum founder Florence Dibell Bartlett, offers rotating exhibitions in both the East and West galleries that are based on the museum collections and on field studies of specific cultures or art forms. The Bartlett Library & Archives is also in the Bartlett Wing. Exhibitions in the east Bartlett wing have ranged from Turkish, Tibetan and Swedish traditions to New Deal era art» in New Mexico, recycled objects»and Mayólica» and ¡CARNAVAL!» and Dancing Shadows: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia».


The West Bartlett gallery became the Gallery of Conscience in 2010.
Dr. Marsha Bol, Director of the Museum of International Folk Art explains the concept of a 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 will be devoted to the examination of issues that threaten the survival of the traditional arts, bringing them to the attention of our visitors." The inaugural gallery of conscience exhibition Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities opened July 4, 2010 closed May 8, 2011. The Arts of Survival: Folk Expression in the Face of Natural Disaster was on exhibition July 3, 2011 through May 6, 2012, and The Art of Gaman: Arts & Crafts from Japanese The American Internment Camps, 1942-1946 July 8-October 7, 2012. Let's talk About This: Folk Artists Respond to HIV/AIDS, July 7, 2013- January 5, 2014. Visitors are invited to partake in the next exhibition, Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience


The Girard Wing’s popular long term exhibition, Multiple Visions: A Common Bond», showcases folk art, toys, miniatures and textiles from more than 100 nations. The late Alexander Girard, who contributed his immense collection to the museum, designed this delightful exhibition, which opened in 1982. The unorthodox exhibition contains no label text, instead, the case numbers relate to the printed gallery guide, giving visitors a choice to learn more about the display, or enjoy the display without explanation. New lighting was added for the 25th anniversary in 2007. New multimedia tours delivered on an ipod touch are available at the front desk, free!


New World CuisineThe Hispanic Heritage Wing» of the Museum of International Folk Art is one of the few museum wings in the U.S. which devoted space to display the art and heritage of Hispanic/Latino cultures. The renovated gallery supports changing exhibits on a larger scale. The Hispanic Heritage Wing showcases Hispano/Latino Arts and culture from New Mexico and beyond, relating New Mexico to the larger Latino/Hispano communities within our country and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world. Through February 15, 2014 is Wooden Menagerie: Made in New Mexico