Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe

The Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe is the largest museum of its kind in the entire world. Housed inside are objects from more than 100 different nations, and they include paintings, dolls, ceramics, sculptures, and virtually anything else that you can think of. Complementing the numerous works of art are dioramas that depict various settings from around the world, and depending on when you decide to visit, catching a special performance or workshop might be possible. The museum hosts various demonstrations throughout the year, so checking the events schedule can be a good idea.

The Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe is located on Museum Hill at 706 Camino Lejo. This part of the city is home to other wonderful New Mexico museums as well, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian included, so it is a cultural destination par excellence. While spending time at the Museum of International Folk Art, visitors to the area can get lost in a true treasure trove of objects. There are actually more than 130,000 total objects on display, and special collections highlight items such as folk art from Brazil and sculptures from Africa.

The aim of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe is to foster world understanding through art. This has been the mission ever since it was founded in 1953 by Florence Dibell Bartlett. Bartlett was a Chicago heiress who had a passion for folk art. One of the wings in the Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe is named after her and it hosts rotating exhibits that highlight pieces from the museum's permanent collection. The three other main wings are the Girad Wing, the Hispanic Heritage Wing, and the Neutrogena Wing. The Girard Wing pays homage to Alexander Girard, while the Neutrogena Wing honors Lloyd Cotsen. Both of these men contributed a significant amount of works to the museum, thus contributing to its renowned status.

In addition to checking out the artwork during your visit to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, you can delve into a variety of topics in the research library or do some shopping in one of two gift shops. As you might expect, folk art can be purchased at the gift shops. The museum also has a café restaurant with free Wi-Fi, and it is open daily between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. General museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The rest of the year sees it closing on Mondays. Docent tours are offered at various times on most days, and visitors can also arrange a private guided tour in advance.

Image: gmeador (flickr)
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