Museum of International Folk Art
The Museum of International Folk Art, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, offers visitors a space of common ground to discover, share and marvel at the diversity and artistry of the world’s folk artists and cultures.
The art of the handmade takes center stage in this acclaimed world-class museum. Through vibrant galleries and visionary exhibitions and collections, viewers gain understanding and engage in dialogue about international folk art communities and traditions, cultural identity and aesthetics.
The museum’s expansive vision took root in 1953 with founder Florence Dibell Bartlett’s generous gifts of folk art, endowment funding, and a museum site and building to the State of New Mexico. The space has since grown to include the Girard Wing, Neutrogena Wing, Hispanic Heritage and Contemporary Hispanic Gallery, and the Gallery of Conscience. Thanks largely to donors who have continued Bartlett’s legacy of generosity, the museum’s collections have also grown to now hold more than 130,000 objects from six continents and over 100 nations—the world’s largest collection of its kind.
Among the museum’s extraordinary collections are 106,000 toys, textiles, and traditional and popular arts from over 100 countries in the Alexander and Susan Girard Collection. The 2,600 textiles, ceramics, carvings and other treasures in the Neutrogena Collection provide another valuable perspective on international folk culture. And the museum’s diverse collections of Spanish colonial and contemporary Latino and Hispanic artworks represent Europe, Latin America and the United States, including the museum’s home state of New Mexico. The museum also houses a 180-seat auditorium, conservation laboratory and a 15,000-volume library.
Today the museum’s curators, educators and other professionals honor Bartlett’s foresight by collecting, preserving and interpreting world folk art in the ever-evolving context of cultural change. Their work has consistently earned the museum favorable ratings as one of New Mexico’s and the world’s most unique and popular museums.