Museum of International Folk Art


October 24, 2013


A fascinating range of unique and vibrant folk traditions are presented in BRASIL & ARTE POPULAR, an exhibition opening Sunday, November 17, 2013, at the Museum of International Folk Art. The exhibition runs through August 10, 2014.

This show will feature over 300 pieces from the museum’s rich Brazilian collection: woodblock prints, colorful ceramic and wood folk sculptures, toys and puppets, religious art, festival costumes, and more.

The varied cultural mix found throughout the vast region of Brazil draws from the original indigenous inhabitants and from the Portuguese colonists who began to settle there in the sixteenth century. Enslaved Africans brought by the Europeans contributed their own religions and rituals, as well as vibrant music and dance. The curator, Barbara Mauldin, tells us that “eventually merging traditions created the dynamic cultural fusion that is so uniquely Brazilian.”

The majority of work in the exhibit is from the twentieth century when the last vestiges of colonialism had faded. Then, folk artists found that they had more freedom to portray their history, folklore, and daily life. And, at last, religious practitioners could carry out their rituals openly, and festival performers were able to both draw from old traditions and use contemporary issues to create lively pageants and dramas. One type of performance, known as capoeira, will be presented at the opening on November 17, 2013, by Mestre Virgulino and his group, Capoeira Cordão do Ouro Cangaço.

The opening is free to New Mexico residents, and to others by museum admission, between 1 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, 2013 with refreshments provided by the Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico.

Two public programs are currently scheduled. On Sunday, January 26, 2014 between 1 and 4 p.m. will be a “Festival Toy Making Workshop” where participants can try their hand at making an armadillo, a nationally favored animal and official mascot of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On Sunday, April 6, 2014 between 2 and 4 p.m. Frank and Pilar Leto and their band PANdemonium will perform the high-energy original music and dance for which they are well-known in both this country and abroad. Both events are open free to New Mexico residents, and to others by museum admission.

High resolution images may be downloaded from the Museum of New Mexico Media Center here.

Media Contacts:

Steve Cantrell, PR Manager



Barbara Mauldin, Curator of Latin American Art






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