Museum of International Folk Art

The Mid-Century Santa Fe Collaboration

March 12, 2019


March 12, 2019 (Santa Fe, NM)— This summer, the Mid-Century Santa Fe collaboration, supported by the Santa Fe Arts Commission, honors Santa Fe’s modern art and design icons Alexander Girard, Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee), and Georgia O’Keeffe.  The partnership between the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA), The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum explores the artists’ lives and influence through exhibitions and community engagement. The collaboration will focus on their contributions to New Mexico’s textile, fashion, and visual art landscape.

MOIFA brings a new facet to Santa Fe’s Alexander Girard narrative by hosting Vitra Design Museum’s traveling exhibition Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, on view at MOIFA from May 5 to October 27, 2019. The exhibition focuses on  Alexander Girard’s design innovations as well as relationships with contemporaries such as Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Rudi Gernreich. Featured items include Girard’s textiles, furniture, and early renderings. This traveling exhibition corresponds with Girard’s long-term installation Multiple Visions, which showcases his and his wife’s folk art collection at MOIFA, prompting conversation about folk art’s influence on Girard’s work. Global Sponsors of Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe are Herman Miller and Maharam.  

To coincide with the traveling exhibit, MOIFA is revitalizing the installation itself, maintaining Girard’s design vision while making structural improvements and cleaning and documenting each object on view. This long-term project is expected to last 3-5 years. An anthology that marries Girard’s legacy as a designer as well as an art collector is planned. The book, titled The Essential Alexander Girard, will distinguish itself by presenting a holistic perspective of his life and career.

IAIA and MoCNA will host three exhibitions celebrating Lloyd Kiva New’s legacy as the premier indigenous designer of the 20th century, as well as a legendary Santa Fe educator.  New’s design influenced modern fashion and architecture, as reflected in IAIA’s spring-summer exhibition series on view during the Mid-Century Santa Fe collaboration. These exhibitions will address the cross-cultural impact on American art.

Action/Abstraction Redefined, on view at MoCNA until July 7, 2019, highlights New’s ascent in the fashion world as he amassed America’s elite as clientele. In 1961, New became the director of IAIA, bringing his acclaim and expertise to New Mexican artists. Art for a New Understanding: Native Perspectives, 1950 to Now, on view until July 19, 2019, continues the conversation around New’s impact on modern design. The exhibition features paintings, photography, textiles, sculptures, and performance art that document the evolution of Native artistic voices across the contemporary art landscape. Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art, opening August 15, 2019, to January 19, 2020 exhibits innovative art and design methods while addressing certain Indigenous histories and political commentary.  

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum rounds out the summer collaboration by hosting a series of community events and lectures. O’Keeffe’s desert landscapes, as well as her friendship with Alexander Girard, define her role as a Mid-Century Santa Fe art influencer. O’Keeffe museum educators will present Arts Alive! at MOIFA on Friday, June 14 and Friday, June 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. Participants will create wooden spoon dolls, inspired by Girard. On August 7, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum will host MOIFA museum director Khristaan Villela, Ph.D. for a lecture based on the work of Alexander Girard. Topics include Girard’s Herman Miller and Braniff Airline designs, as well as his role as a Mid-Century designer. On August 17, 2019, O’Keeffe and MOIFA educators will host the wooden dolls project at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Activities will be appropriate for children ages four to twelve, and accompanying family members.


Arts Alive! presents the Girard-inspired wooden dolls project

Location: The Museum of International Folk Art

Date: Friday, June 14 and Friday, June 21, 2019

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Breakfast with O’Keeffe: Girard’s World, a talk presented by Khristaan Villela, Ph.D.

Location: The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Date: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


The O’Keeffe Family Program presents the Girard-inspired wooden dolls project

Location: The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Date: Saturday, August 17, 2019

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Related Photos

Opening of the exhibition Fantasy and Enchantment: Selections from the Girard Foundation Collection
What Fuels Leadership? by Kristen Doresey (Chickasaw)
Silver Tokyo Wristlet by Maya Stewart (Chickasaw)
Untitled (Neo-totem) by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Coast Salish/Okanagan)
Untitled (Squares), 1968 by Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee)
Alexander Girard: Poncho
Alexander Girard: The Nativity
Alexander Girard: Arm Chair
Alexander Girard: Design for matchboxes of the restaurant La Fonda del Sol
Alexander Girard: Miller House
Alexander Girard: New Sun
Alexander Girard: Hand and Dove
Alexander Girard: Daisy Face, Environmental Enrichment Panel
Alexander Girard: Georgia O’Keeffe & Alexander Girard
Alexander Girard: Storage boxes arranged and labeled by Girard
02-MOIFA-Girard- Vitra Design Museum Logo
Global Sponsor Herman Miller Logo
02-MOIFA-Girard- Global Sponsor Maharam Logo
Alexander Girard: In his studio early 1950s

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