Multiple Visions: A Common BondJanuary 1, 2011 through December 31, 2030
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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
Crafting Memory: The Art of Community in PeruDecember 3, 2017 through March 10, 2019
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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 WorldApril 22, 2018 through February 3, 2019
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.
A Gathering of Voices: Folk Art from the Judith Espinar and Tom Dillenberg CollectionDecember 16, 2018 through August 25, 2019
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
Alexander Girard: A Designer's UniverseMay 5, 2019 through October 27, 2019
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 MexicoSeptember 22, 2019 through December 31, 2020
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 JapanDecember 7, 2019 through December 7, 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”).
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 ScandinaviaJanuary 25, 2020 through January 25, 2021
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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.
Daily Walk-In Docent Tours
Our docents open up the world of folk art and the history of the museum to you. No reservations are required for docent tours, which are available:
10:30 & 11:30AM and 2:00PM. To confirm the day’s tours, please call the museum front desk at 505-476-1204.Learn More