words from our mission and guiding principles
words from our mission and guiding principles

The Museum of International Folk Art  shapes a humane world by connecting people through creative expression and artistic traditions.


MOIFA's Guiding Principles inform every aspect of the museum's work. They inspire our commitment to be good stewards of the collection and share these cultural resources with the local community, the people of New Mexico, and a worldwide audience.

One. Folk art has the power to change lives and change the world. We will:

  • Honor the vision of our founder, Florence Dibell Bartlett, who said, "The art of the craftsman [person] is a bond between the peoples of the world."
  • Present folk art in a context that can overcome ignorance and promote understanding.

Two. Folk artists create and share their beliefs, visions, and cultural values. We will:

  • Partner with the diverse artists and cultures whose works we preserve, protect, and represent
  • Create a platform for folk artists to present their work and their perspectives

Three. People understand themselves and each other better through seeing, creating, and interacting with folk arts. We will:

  • Offer dynamic exhibitions, programs, and publications that appeal to diverse learning styles and audiences, touch the heart, engage the mind, and inspire action
  • Create accessible exhibitions that serve the global community, including multiple perspectives that encourage further exploration of wide-ranging subjects

Four. The museum is a dynamic, multi-dimensional, learning environment that can be an integral part of community life. We will:

  • Build community through sharing what we discover with artists, visitors, children, colleagues, and scholars and learning from them in turn
  • Collaborate with diverse community groups to develop the museum as a respectful forum for civic discourse where people discuss relevant social issues

Five. The museum's collection is an important connection between past, present, and future folk art and related traditions. We will:

  • Integrate current and emerging technologies that enhance the visitor experience and create improved local and global access to our exhibitions, collections, and interactive programs
  • Preserve and develop collections of the world's cultural treasures for present and future generations by honoring past generations and treating objects with the utmost care, including repatriation when appropriate

Six. The museum and staff are accountable for professional ethical behavior in all aspects of our operations. We will:

  • Act with respect, honesty, and transparency to consistently demonstrate courtesy, professionalism, and excellence
  • Practice environmental stewardship with methods that preserve and sustain our limited resources