Blessings & Good Fortune
In the Cotsen Gallery, Neutrogena Wing
Sunday February 28, 2015 to 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.
Sacred Realm reflects wide-ranging practices of belief that, at the same time, depict the common human need or desire to attain balance and harmony in the physical and spiritual realms of life.
[Photo: Ancestor Spirit House, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo by Felicia Katz-Harris].
selections the Neutrogena Collection»
Explore New Mexico Textile Traditions»
Textile & Quilt Resources On-line»
PAST EXHIBITIONS IN THE COTSEN GALLERY
The Red That Colored The World
May 17 to September 13, 2015
The Red That Colored The World. 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 most prolific and enduring 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.
Admission is by Museum admission: New Mexico residents with I.D. FREE every Sunday. (Photo: Sewing box with cover with cochineal dyed wool yarn -detail). Box, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico, late 18th century. Wood, paint, metal, gold leaf, 4 3/4 x 17 5/16 x 5 inches. Museum of International Folk Art, IFAF Collection, Courtesy of the Museum of International Folk Art, Photo, Addison Doty) OPENING at The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California
Brasil and Arte Popular
In the Cotsen Gallery, Neutrogena Wing
November 17, 2013 - January 12, 2015
fascinating range of unique and vibrant folk traditions
are presented featuring over 350 pieces from the museums
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 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
and use contemporary issues to create lively pageants
and dramas. 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.
Plain Geometry Amish Quilts
In the Neutrogena Wing
March 3, 2013-September 2, 2013
The exhibition explores the aesthetics of Amish quilts by considering what the quilting tradition grew out of and how they changed in a changing world. Approximately 35 quilts from the museum and local collectors' collections illustrate religious proscriptions, westward migration, and interaction
with 'English' neighbors. (Photo: Diamond in square, Lancaster Co. PA, c. 1925, gift of Stuart and Cindy Hodosh) Make your own virtual quilt on an IPAD and save and share your quilt for visitors to see!
Young Brides, Old Treasures: Macedonian Embroidered
In the Cotsen Gallery Saturday October 1, 2011 to January
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. The Museum collection dates primarily
from 1890 to 1920 with some later pieces from the 1950s.
The Collection has been completed 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 is accompanied by a catalog of the same name,
and closes January 6, 2013. (Photo: Detail, Wedding
dress. Miyak, Smilevo, Demir Hisar municipality, c. 1900.
Wool, cotton, silk, metallic thread, metal, glass beads,
plastic. The Ronald Wixman/Steven Glaser Collection. Photography
by Addison Doty.) This exhibition is scheduled
to travel, click here for details.
exhibition Material World: Textiles & Dress from
the Collection 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. Textiles Collection
of the Museum of International Folk Art. Call 505
992-2611 to order or
shop on-line at worldfolkart.org»
FEATURING THE NEUTROGENA COLLECTION
inaugural exhibition, The Extraordinary in the Ordinary, was co-curated
by donor Lloyd Cotsen and independent curator Mary Hunt Kahlenberg. The exhibition
and new wing opened in August 1998. A catalogue on the collection, The Extraordinary
in the Ordinary has been published by Harry N. Abrams Inc. Essays focus on
various aspects of world traditions in Africa, Asia and the Americas, with topics
ranging from ceremonial cloths of the Congo, to court robes of China, and to Venetian
gondola prows. (Photograph right by Kitty Leaken, installation of The
Extraordinary in the Ordinary)
The second exhibition drawn from the collection opened in the Summer of 2000.
Curiouser and Curiouser:
A Walk Through The Looking-Glass presents
objects in a setting inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland and
Through the Looking Glass. The Curator and Exhibition Designer collaborated
to display objects in ways that challenged visitor's perceptions. For example,
one room is a library of giant-sized books (photograph Curiouser & Curiouser
exhibition by Polina Smutko, right) to invite visitors to leaf through textile
"books". Innovative theatrical lighting and other techniques delighted
children, and the young at heart. Museum educators collaborated with the Santa
Fe Public Library in presenting summer reading programs, Read 'Round The World
(Summer 2000) and Once Upon A Planet (Summer 2001). School age students
participating in the program had art and writing workshops at the museum and at
the libraries. The Summer Reading program was highlighted with Museum program
with play & puppet performances, all ages art activities, and readings by
the participants themselves. The exhibition closed March 30, 2002.
third exhibition drawn exclusively from the collection was Gathering Threads:
The Heart of the Neutrogena Collection. The exhibition showcased the variety
and range of human ingenuity and ability, which extends across cultures and time,
all within the medium of textiles. Textiles have the ability to connect us- they
are the common ground upon which we all stand (or sleep under, or wrap ourselves
in). When these connections become visible, we can begin to understand how we
are all part of the global community, linked by a common thread.