Museum of International Folk Art

FLAMENCO: From Spain to New Mexico

January 03, 2016


Passionate, fiery, sensual, intense In-depth examination of the history and culture of flamenco dance and music.

The Museum of International Folk Art will present Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico, the most comprehensive exhibition to celebrate and study this living tradition as an art form. The exhibition opens November 22, 2015 and runs through September 10, 2017.

More than 150 objects will be featured. Among them, items once used by renowned artists Encarnación López y Júlvez “La Argentinita”, José Greco, and Vicente Romero and María Benítez (both from New Mexico). In addition to other stunning loans from private collectors will be those from the museum’s expansive permanent collection.

Tracing flamenco’s journey from fifteenth and sixteenth century Spain to twentieth century Europe’s most cultured cities will be costumes both historic and contemporary, musical instruments, costume and set design sketches, playbills, sheet music, posters, and more. These objects chronicle flamenco’s evolution from rural, folkloric tradition to elaborate staged productions incorporating extravagantly costumed dancers accompanied by virtuoso guitarists. The objects also trace flamenco’s transition to recording studios and the silver screen permitting it to gain a massive popular audience.

Handed down from generation to generation, between family and community members living at society’s edges, flamenco incorporates historic dance and music traditions from Roman times to the Arabic period. Flamenco expresses a way of life shaped by a multitude of cultural and regional influences such as the Gitanos (Romany people) of Spain and Andalusian regional customs. In 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

This exhibition also examines Spain’s ferias and fiestas, their introduction to the southwestern US, and the individuals who contributed to making flamenco a popular art form in this country. And as the exhibition title suggests, flamenco’s integration into New Mexico’s culture will be examined.

Exhibition curator Nicolasa Chávez said, “Flamenco is often considered an outward expression of one’s innermost emotions, whether happy or sad, and carries with it an air of freedom or abandon.” She noted that other exhibitions have only featured flamenco through photography and imagery while this exhibition explores flamenco as a multifaceted art form, a highly cherished performance art remaining true to its cultural roots and heritage. The exhibition is also the first ever to show the history and development of flamenco and its treasured role within the cultural milieu of New Mexico.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the book, The Spirit of Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico, by Nicolasa Chávez (Museum of New Mexico Press, Jacketed hardbound $39.95 ISBN: 978-0-89013-608-9, 192 pages, 86 color and 54 black-and-white photographs).

Exhibition Opening Event

The exhibition opening on Sunday, November 22, 2015 is from 1 to 4pm with live guitar from 1 to 2pm, dance performances by renowned artists from both Spain and New Mexico from 2 to 4pm, a book signing by the curator from 1.30 to 2.30pm, and light refreshments served by the Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico. The opening is free with museum admission, New Mexico residents with ID are always free on Sunday.


What: FLAMENCO: From Spain to New Mexico

When: November 22, 2015 and runs through September 11, 2016

Where: Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe.

Phone: 505-476-1200



Media Contacts:

Steve Cantrell, Public Relations Manager

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs/Museum of International Folk Art



Nicolasa Chavez, Curator of Latino/Hispano/Spanish Colonial Collections





The Museum of International Folk Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Museum of International Folk Art’s mission is “to enrich the human spirit by connecting people with the arts, traditions and cultures of the world.” Founded in 1953 by Florence Dibell Bartlett, the museum holds the world’s largest international folk art collection of more than 150,000 objects from six continents and over 150 nations.

The museum’s collections represent a broad range of global artists whose artistic expressions make Santa Fe an international crossroads of culture. For many visitors, fascination with folk art begins upon seeing the whimsical toys and traditional objects within the Girard Collection. For others, the international textiles, ceramics, carvings and other cultural treasures in the Neutrogena Collection provide the allure.  The museum’s historic and contemporary Latino and Hispano folk art collections, spanning the Spanish Colonial period to modern-day New Mexico, reflect how artists respond to their time and place in ways both delightful and sobering. In 2010, the museum opened the Mark Naylor and Dale Gunn Gallery of Conscience, where a series of exhibitions encourage visitors to exchange ideas on complex issues of human rights and social justice.

Over 90,000 national and international visitors visit the Museum International Folk Art every year. Through folk art, the museum encourages all to find a common ground upon which to craft better lives for all. 

Museum exhibitions and programs are supported by donors to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its Director’s Leadership Fund, Exhibitions Development Fund, and Fund for Museum Education, as well as by the International Folk Art Foundation, also established by museum founder Florence Dibell Bartlett.


ADMISSION: Adult single-museum admission is $6 for New Mexico residents, $9 for out-of-state visitors; Students with I.D. receive a one-dollar discount. Wednesdays: New Mexico resident seniors (60+) with I.D. are free. Sundays: New Mexico residents with I.D. are admitted free. Youth 16 and under and Foundation Members always free.

LOCATION: On Museum Hill, 706 Camino Lejo, off the Old Santa Fe Trail, in Santa Fe New Mexico. Abundant free parking.

HOURS: Daily 10am to 5 pm. Tue through Sun, November through May (Memorial Day Weekend)


Mailing address: P.O. Box 2087, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2087

By telephone: 505-476-1200

By e-mail:





Related Photos

Costume sketch
Program for Carmen Amaya performance
Child’s Feria Dress
Feria Goers
Roberto Quijandría dressing Dorado de Domeq in the traditional horse gear for carriage. Horse gear by Vicente Rodríguez Robles, Sevilla, Spain
Contemporary Feria Dress with Mantoncito (Small Shawl),
Accoutrements for feria ensemble
Alexina García Chávez rides side saddle on top of Poesía in the manner of the feria de abril (April Fair).
Peine (hair comb)
Mantón de Manila (Manila Shawl) and Peine (Hair comb)
Fiesta Dress made from silk shawl
Dancer Betty Serna Cárdenas performing for the USO
Program for El Nido’s “Patio Flamenco”,
Feria Dress

Back to Press Release List »