Museum of International Folk Art

Corporate Body
Alternate names
after 1949
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>The mission of the Museum of International Folk Art is to foster understanding of the traditional arts to illuminate human creativity and shape a humane world.
The mission of the Museum of International Folk Art is to foster understanding of the traditional arts to illuminate human creativity and shape a humane world. MOIFA's Guiding Principles inform every aspect of the museum's work. They inspire our commitment to be good stewards of the collection and share these cultural resources with the local community, the people of New Mexico, and a worldwide audience. One. Folk art has the power to change lives and change the world. We will: Honor the vision of our founder, Florence Dibell Bartlett, who said, "The art of the craftsman [person] is a bond between the peoples of the world." Present folk art in a context that can overcome ignorance and promote understanding. Two. Folk artists create and share their beliefs, visions, and cultural values. We will: Partner with the diverse artists and cultures whose works we preserve, protect, and represent Create a platform for folk artists to present their work and their perspectives Three. People understand themselves and each other better through seeing, creating, and interacting with folk arts. We will: Offer dynamic exhibitions, programs, and publications that appeal to diverse learning styles and audiences, touch the heart, engage the mind, and inspire action Create accessible exhibitions that serve the global community, including multiple perspectives that encourage further exploration of wide-ranging subjects Four. The museum is a dynamic, multi-dimensional, learning environment that can be an integral part of community life. We will: Build community through sharing what we discover with artists, visitors, children, colleagues, and scholars and learning from them in turn Collaborate with diverse community groups to develop the museum as a respectful forum for civic discourse where people discuss relevant social issues Five. The museum's collection is an important connection between past, present, and future folk art and related traditions. We will: Integrate current and emerging technologies that enhance the visitor experience and create improved local and global access to our exhibitions, collections, and interactive programs Preserve and develop collections of the world's cultural treasures for present and future generations by honoring past generations and treating objects with the utmost care, including repatriation when appropriate Six. The museum and staff are accountable for professional ethical behavior in all aspects of our operations. We will: Act with respect, honesty, and transparency to consistently demonstrate courtesy, professionalism, and excellence Practice environmental stewardship with methods that preserve and sustain our limited resources
The Museum of International Folk Art was founded in 1949 by Florence Dibell Bartlett (1881-1954), a wealthy Chicagoan who began visiting New Mexico in the 1920s. Her guiding vision was summed up by her statement “The art of the craftsman is a bond between the peoples of the world.” Like many of her generation who lived through two world wars, Bartlett was seeking a way of bridging differences and creating a sense of fellowship among cultures. For Bartlett, traditional folk arts from around the world were a means of demonstrating a common bond. Following the example of her father, Adolphus Clay Bartlett, who owned a successful hardware company in Chicago, Florence Dibell Bartlett was a generous and principled philanthropist with a strong sense of civic responsibility. Referring to herself as a “civic worker” rather than a “philanthropist,” Bartlett supported numerous causes, including the Eleanor Clubs, which provided housing, education, and employment counseling for working women; the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago; and the American Scandinavian Society. Living in a time of widespread industrialization, Bartlett championed the handmade. The Museum of International Folk Art was a final and lasting act of generosity before her death in May 1954, 8 months after the opening of the museum. Bartlett’s gifts to New Mexico and to 60 years of museum visitors were many. She envisioned and funded the original building, sited in the foothills of Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was designed by architect John Gaw Meem, as well as the museum’s extensive Bartlett Library. She donated the museum’s founding collection of more than 2,500 objects including textiles, costumes, ceramics, wood carvings, paintings, and jewelry. And she established a foundation dedicated to supporting the mission of the museum. Over the years, the museum has grown to include the Hispanic Heritage Wing and Contemporary Hispanic Gallery, the Girard Wing, the Neutrogena Wing, and the Gallery of Conscience. Our vast and unique collections now number more than 130,000 examples of folk and traditional arts from around the world. As one of the few museums in the United States dedicated to folk art from around the world, the Museum of International Folk Art expands the understanding of folk art and encourages dialogue about traditions, cultural identity, community, and aesthetics. The museum is a dynamic, multidimensional learning environment that is an integral part of community life. Our collection and programming provide important connections between past, present, and future folk art and related traditions.
Geographic names
Santa Fe
Related collections
AR.00001 Florence Dibell Bartlett Collection ()
AR.00004 MOIFA Exhibitions/MOIFA Mobile Exhibitions ()
AR.00027 Traditional Quilt Makers in New Mexico Survey ()
AR.00020 Dana Everts Collection ()
AR.00004 MOIFA Exhibitions/MOIFA Mobile Exhibitions ()
AR.00004.214 Sin Nombre: Hispana and Hispano Artists of the New Deal Era ()
AR.00006.4 Villanueva Tapestry Program ()
AR.00006.4 Villanueva Tapestry Program ()
AR.00009 MOIFA Image Collection ()
AR.00010 MOIFA General Audio Collection ()
AR.00011 MOIFA Video Collection ()
AR.00012 MOIFA Education Collection ()
AR.00013 MOIFA Facilities ()
AR.00014 MOIFA Directors ()
AR.00015 MOIFA Curators ()
AR.00016 MOIFA Staff ()
AR.00018 Laura Gilpin Collection ()
AR.00019 Alexander Girard Collection ()
AR.00021 David Bender Collection ()
AR.00022 Mable E Morrow Collection ()
AR.00023 New Mexico Furniture Survey ()
AR.00025 Northeast Sector Overview ()
AR.00028 Rebecca Salsbury James Colcha Patterns ()
AR.00031 Ronald Harvey Goodman Collection ()
AR.00034 New Mexico Needlepoint Guild Scrapbooks ()
AR.00035 Portfolio of Spanish Colonial Design Prints ()
AR.00037 Laboratory of Anthropology Media Collection ()
AR.00039 National Heritage Fellowship Collection ()
AR.00040 Yucatecan Music and Sound ()
AR.00041 Nancy Warren: Los Pastores in Belen ()
AR.00042 Ecuador Rug Slides ()
AR.00043 Photographic Inventory of Religious Art in New Mexico ()
AR.00044 Architecture and Art of New Mexico Churches ()
AR.00045 ICG Campbell Drawings of Turkish Rugs ()
AR.00046 Vickie C Elson: Costumes from India ()
AR.00047 Louie Ewing: New Mexico Santos ()
AR.00048 Per Ernst Guldbeck: Scandinavian Dress ()
AR.00049 Florence and Robert Lister Majolica Research ()
AR.00050 Vesna Mladenevic: Balkan Dress ()
AR.00051 Kal Muller: New Hebrides Photography ()
AR.00053 Matt Pearce Papers ()
AR.00052 New Mexico Historic Building Inventory ()
AR.00054 Beej and Jim Smith Brazil Papers ()
AR.00055 Susana Valadez Huichol [Wixáritari] Patterns ()
AR.00057 Rene d'Harnoncourt: Drawings of Mexican Folk Art ()
AR.00058 Carlos Merida: Silkscreen Prints ()
AR.00061 Marcia Muth Collection ()
AR.00062 Judith Jedlicka Papers ()
AR.00011.3 MOIFA Video Collection; Tom McCarthy series ()
AR.00060 Helen Thompson Papers ()
AR.00015.2 MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark Series ()
Related people/organizations
Bartlett Library and Archives (is part of)
Florence Dibell Bartlett (is related to)
Blair Clark (worked with)
Ree Mobley (worked with)
Dana Everts-Boehm (worked with)
Tey Marianna Nunn (worked with)
Robert Bruce Inverarity (worked with)
Marsha Bol (is related to)
Charlie Carrillo (worked with)
Richard B Stark (worked with)

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