Mid-Century Santa Fe | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

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Mid-Century Santa Fe

Storage boxes arranged a nd labeled by Alexander Girard, Girard Estate, Vitra Design Museum. Photograph by Andreas Sütterlin.

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 through October 27, 2019. 

IAIA and MoCNA 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, 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, continues the conversation around New’s impact on modern design.

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 & Friday, June 21 at 10 a.m. .On August 7, at 9 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, O’Keeffe & MOIFA educators will host the wooden dolls project at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Activities will be appropriate for children ages four to twelve, and accompanying family members.

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