Releases | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Auction of rare folk art from private collections to benefit Museum of International Folk Art

January 17th, 2024

Santa Fe, NM — Folk art collectors and artists have donated treasures from their private collections for a public auction benefiting an endowment for Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) in Santa Fe. The silent auction event features more than 60 rare and high-value folk and fine art treasures from around the world and includes a celebratory party with entertainment. 

 World of Treasures will be held March 9, 2024, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the museum. Admission is limited. Registration will be open to the public on January 25, 2024, and tickets can be found at

 In addition to the auction, folk art lovers can shop in the “Buy It Now” boutique offering one-of-a-kind items including ethnographic clothing representing designers from around the world and unusual folk art pieces from renowned regional and international folk art makers.  

 Event co-chairs Jean Moss and Jerri Straight are thrilled with the auction offerings, all items donated by museum fans and friends. “We have assembled an amazing selection of beautiful and unusual treasures. The auction and boutique are filled with desirable examples of higher-end ethnographic art. We expect the bidding to be pretty competitive, but fun.” 

 Guests will also enjoy food and beverages from around the globe, music by MOIFA Executive Director Charlie Lockwood, and an opportunity for an after-hours viewing of Multiple Visions: A Common Bond, the permanent exhibition donated and curated by architect and interior designer Alexander Girard.  

 Throughout decades of traveling, Alexander Girard and his wife Susan assembled a premier collection of folk art—some 106,000 objects from 100 countries on six continents. In 1978, they generously donated the collection to MOIFA as a gift to the people of New Mexico. The Girard Foundation Collection formed the core of the museum’s holdings, with a selection of items being featured in Girard’s exhibition Multiple Visions: A Common Bond.  

 Carmella Padilla, fund campaign supporter, validates the endowment’s importance. “The significance of Girard’s contributions to Museum of International Folk Art cannot be overstated. The collection that he and Susan donated to the museum, as well as his Multiple Visions installation, are central to MOIFA’s identity and popularity as an international art destination.” She adds, “His legacy as a designer and collector is part of the museum’s DNA, elevating folk art in the public eye like no one before. By benefiting the Girard Legacy Endowment Fund, the World of Treasures auction will help ensure that Girard’s vision is supported and cared for to endure for generations to come.” 

 A few highlights of the silent auction include two pieces from contemporary sculptor, Max Lehman, donated two works of art from Santa Fe artist, Ivan Barnett, and a stunningly crafted South African Woven telephone wire basket donated by Santa Fe Collector, David Arment. 

 About the Museum of International Folk Art 

The Museum of International Folk Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the International Folk Art Foundation and Museum of New Mexico Foundation. The mission of The Museum of International Folk Art is to shape a humane world by connecting people through creative expression and artistic traditions. The museum holds the largest collection of international folk art in the world, numbering more than 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries. 

 About Friends of Folk Art 

Friends of Folk Art is a group of Museum of New Mexico Foundation members who love folk art. They promote it through tours, trips and social and cultural events related to folk art. All proceeds benefit exhibitions and educational programming at the Museum of International Folk Art. 

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