Museum Design Summit 2019: The Transformative Power of Place


“When you really understand that each color is changed by a changed environment, you eventually find that you have learned about life as well as about color.” — Josef Albers

Albers understood the power of context as it relates to color and also how it can shape our lives and creative expression. As designers we are trained to see pattern, feel texture, note asymmetry, and revel in beauty, but are we trained to see the value that context invests in the visual experience? The goal of MDS 2019 was to provide our guests the opportunity to explore this idea. We narrowed the scope of this big concept by focusing the conversation around the proposition that place – in all its constituent parts – as context, can transform design, and us, in the process.

Each of our speakers came at the topic in a variety of entertaining and visually compelling ways. Pamela Kelly set the stage by speaking about how historical, cultural and commercial factors influenced the design identity of Santa Fe; how the physical and spiritual quality of New Mexico shaped the creative expression of the many artists and creatives drawn to it; and how all these factors contributed to the formation of Santa Fe’s four extraordinary museums.

Santa Fe and its Museums represent a crossroads of culture

Using the exquisite photography from Selvedge Magazine, founder and editor Polly Leonard presented a visual tour de force of the evolution and application of some iconic textile patterns and techniques: Harris Tweed, Tartan, Madras, Batik, and Indigo. In her talk, Polly deftly wove together the history of a each pattern, how place informed its creation and how trade, fashion and commerce converged to influence the evolution and broad geographic adoption of each.

Tartan — where it started and how far it has come

Anna Murray, co-founder of UK design firm Patternity, held the audience in rapt attention as she revealed the transformative power of pattern and the value of its application in our daily life. Anna’s Patternity journey took guests from the expanse of the cosmos to the whorl of hair on a baby’s head. Along the way she shared examples of how Pattenity has forged business partnerships with such industry giants as Nike, John Lewis, AirBnB, Selfridges, Coach, Cosentino and more.

Abduljabbar Khatri spoke about his family’s centuries old involvement with the craft of bandhani – a tie dying textile tradition unique to northwestern India. Sidr Craft, the family business, works with over 250 Indian artisans skilled at tying the thousands of tiny knots that create the textile pattern. Khatri and his family then dye the goods and finish them into scarves and dresses.

Adduljabbar “untied” several dyed scarves to reveal the intricate patterns created by  bandhani

Adduljabbar “untied” several dyed scarves to reveal the intricate patterns created by bandhani

Susan Hoffman, employee #8 at the legendary PR firm Wieiden + Kennedy spoke about the process behind so many of the iconic, moving and controversial advertisements for which she was the creative lead. In each and every campaign for Nike, Old Spice, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Procter & Gamble context played a vital role. Nike’s famous brand message: Just Do It! has more power when the message is embedded in the context of a story about female athletes in India, or disabled athletes overcoming huge challenges to become storied heros. Her stirring presentation inspired everyone to remember that true creativity comes from being brave, giving voice to the truth and not being afraid to look stupid.

Museum of International Folk Art curator of North American and European Art, Laura Addison followed with a compelling presentation about how Alexander Girard’s travels and folk art collecting obsession informed his designs. Addison then went on to show how other nationally known artists’ work was informed by the place and culture they inhabit — a place called New Mexico.

The legendary and humble Hella Jongerius gave the final presentation in which she explained her design process. Jongerius beautiful products belie the effort and thoughtful consideration expended in their creation. Extremely talented in designing across multiple categories and skilled in working with many mediums, Jongerius considers the design brief, materials, makers, manufacturing process, the end use, and the environmental footprint. In accounting for the context in which she is creating, Jongerius’ designs stand above all others and remain timeless. 

In the midst of all this, Summit guests had time to visit the extraordinary Museum of International Folk Art to see Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, curated by the Vitra Design Museum, tour the exceptional 30,000-piece ethnographic textile collection and enjoy a paper marbling workshop led by Anna Murray.


At the conclusion, a number of guests stayed on to explore Santa Fe, and attend the astonishing Santa Fe International Folk Art Market – a gathering of 150 artists from 75 countries.

Hopefully our guests returned home refreshed, inspired and more thoughtful about the Transformative Power of Place.

How will the power of place transform you, your work, your life?

How will the power of place transform you, your work, your life?


Challenging Perceptions: Selvedge Magazine Discovers Breadth Of Our Museum Design Resources


We love Selvedge Magazine, but then who doesn’t. Three years ago on a trip to London, Pamela called Polly Leonard, the magazine’s founder and asked if she could visit her and describe our unique work.

After enjoying a cup of tea in the magazine’s charming shop - cum office, Pamela described to Polly the diverse holdings of our four Santa Fe- based museums, explaining that the collections feature not just the finest Southwestern material, but include one of the world’s top ten ethnographic textile collections, the 100,000 piece folk art collection that inspired much of mid-century modernist Alexander Girard’s fabric designs as well as European, Asian and African ceramics, furniture and jewelry.

Though Polly was gracious and interested it was not until she travelled to Santa Fe last summer to attend the renowned International Folk Art Market – a gathering of 150 artists from 100 countries – that she saw for herself what I had attempted to describe.

The result? The Folk Art Issue: an entire Selvedge issue dedicated to the international nature of our museums, the city of Santa Fe and the extraordinary artisan gathering known as the International Folk Art Market.

Click the photos above to read the article about our museum collections and our approach to licensing and design.


Mohawk's Hospitality Brand, Durkan, Introduces Crafted Convergence


Partnering with the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art, Durkan designed a striking collection of broadloom carpets and carpet tiles for the hospitality market. The design team drew inspiration from broad and varied cultural resources at the two museums: from Native American pottery and basketry to Japanese and African garments.

While the museum material for the collection was geographically and culturally wide ranging, a common visual theme emerged: the skillful use of negative and positive space elegantly rendered in a variety of materials. With such in mind the Durkan team thoughtfully crafted 8 new patterns. The resulting collection is an homage to the cultural resources and not a replication.
The collection was introduced in May at the Las Vegas Hospitality & Design Expo, the premier trade show and conference for hospitality design professionals, and was awarded the IIDA/HD Expo Product Design Award in the flooring category for carpet and rugs. For more than two decades, the IIDA/HD Expo Product Design Awards program has recognized innovation, function and aesthetic advancements in the hospitality industry.


Mayer Fabrics and Sunbrella Introduce the Wonderlust Collection


Inspired by the global travels of collector, designer and museum benefactor Alexander Girard, Mayer Fabrics is proud to unveil a new collection of fabric for the commercial market, Wonderlust. Created in collaboration with the Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and Sunbrella®, Wonderlust brings the warmth and color of global folk art to commercial spaces along with the trusted performance of Sunbrella Contract fabrics.

Through his travels, Girard observed that folk art is the common thread connecting all humanity and was known to have said, “Tutto il mondo è paese,” or “The whole world is hometown.” Over the course of his life, Girard amassed a collection of over 100,000 masks, dolls, ceramics, toys, fine art, textiles and ceremonial objects that he later donated to the Museum of International Folk Art. In 1978, with the opening of his eponymous wing, Girard shared with Santa Fe his folk-art-collecting obsession, transformed into an exuberant tour of the world’s cultures, their craft and their distinct world views.

Honoring Girard’s global journey of discovery, the collection name ‘Wonderlust’ connotes a focused desire to understand the context in which an object or place comes to express its identity. Girard was acutely aware of how the singular identity of the maker is embedded in an object, adding complex dimensions of emotion and cultural reference.

Mayer Fabrics' designer, Kimberle Frost, worked with Sunbrella to give shape to this idea by creating seven vibrant and engaging patterns drawn from the iconic folk art that Girard loved and collected. The Wonderlust fabrics are modern yet timeless, bringing joyful energy to public spaces while exceeding the toughest industry standards. Pamela Kelly, Vice President of Licensing for the Museum of New Mexico, says of the collection, “We are thrilled to see such a joyful and thoughtful interpretation of the folk art and textiles from our museums.”

Frost and Sunbrella designer Tracy Greene extracted elements from each source object to translate its essential expression into fun, whimsical and personable patterns and textures. Says Frost, “The goal was not to reproduce the actual design, but to evolve it—to find the essential element of the object, tell the story of its journey, and give it new life through pattern and color.”  Certain motifs capture the spirit of a distinct time and place within each fabric—the crosshatching on the pottery from Acoma Pueblo, in New Mexico, the “eye” of protective Milagro charms, the geometry of 18th century Netherlandish sewing samplers.

Wonderlust comes in 44 rich colorways, from lively, saturated tones to soothing neutrals. Visually arresting, the patterns incorporate special yarns and weaving techniques to evoke textures like hand embroidery and wool. With their distinct look and feel, these fabrics make a strong statement on their own, but Sunbrella’s careful color control process ensures that they also beautifully complement any other Sunbrella Contract fabric by Mayer Fabrics.


Press and Love for our Jan Kath Rug Collection


"The resulting carpets are a genuine tour-de-force of modern carpet design, offering an aesthetic plucked from the past and reinterpreted into the present, foregoing trends to find a distinctive and original interpretation which expands the miniature into ‘delightfully modern’ room sized adornment."


We couldn't be more thrilled with the positive response to our recent rug two collections with Jan Kath, Common Threads and Native Legends respectively. At the recent Architectural Digest Spring Design Show in New York City, the discerning Hamish Bowles listed our collection as one of his favorites of the show for Vogue magazine. Of course, we agree!

As well, the Rug Insider featured a story on the Jan Kath Common Threads collection inspired by darning samplers from the Museum of International Folk Art. The article features Kyle Clarkson, Kyle and Kath partner and the collection's designer, and an overview of the history of and technique of darning samplers.

The Native Legends collection was featured by the internationally recognized, COVER Magazine, calling attention to the significance of the cultural narrative of the inspiration source: Pueblo pottery from the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.


New Carpet Collections: Common Threads & Native Legends by Jan Kath Design


In collaboration with Jan Kath Design, we are thrilled to present two new carpet collections, Common Threads and Native Legends designed by Kyle Clarkson. The collections highlight an extraordinary range of both hand-knotted and hand-tufted carpets inspired by the extensive and diverse collections at two of our noted museums. 

Select rugs from the Common Threads collection and two examples at the bottom of  the samplers that inspired their designs. Click thumbnails to view larger.

The darning samplers from the Museum of International Folk art that served as design motivation for the Common Threads Collection date to the late 18th and early 19th century and come from various European countries including Germany, England, Belgium and Sweden. Created by young women learning how to mend worn places and holes in cloth used for domestic garments and household items such as curtains and tablecloths, these delicate and rather small works of art feature a variety of woven patterns thoughtfully recreated in patches of colored thread on a linen ground cloth.  The resulting samplers and their woven carpet inspirations feature a breathtaking and modern woven tour-de- force rendered in miniature.

The Native Legends Collection is equally magnificent in both the artistic perfection of the inspiration source and its brilliant redesign by Kyle Clarkson. In New Mexico, there are 19 Indian Pueblos or villages. Each Pueblo has a distinct identity expressed through its customs and artistic traditions. Pueblo pottery is such a tradition,one of the most distinctive and long-lived crafts – over 2000 years old – found amongst the North American Indian cultures. The tradition lives on in the children of the artists whose pots inspired the Native Legends collection. Utilizing local clay and vegetable based-slip or “glazes,” the Pueblo pottery color palette features browns, reds, white and black. In designing the modern interpretation, Clarkson chose to feature a myriad of vibrant contemporary colors that bind the present to its storied past.

Select rugs from the Native Legends collection and some of the pottery and basketry that inspired their designs. Click thumbnails to view larger.

Concurrent with Domotex, the Frankfurt-based rug and carpet trade show, both collections were introduced January 14, 2018 at a private event at the Jan Kath showroom in Bochum. The collection will be available for viewing at Jan Kath showrooms and through exclusive partnerships in six continents and 54 countries. For more information click here.


Introducing our collaboration with Native Artists x Tea Collection


This past November, thirteen Native boys and girls were photographed at Isleta Pueblo, one of New Mexico’s 19 Indian Pueblos, for our first apparel license and collaboration. The children modeled patterned shirts, dresses, rompers and t-shirts inspired by, and adapted from, Pueblo pottery in the collections of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.

Launched in January 2018 by the Tea Collection, a San Francisco-based children’s clothing company, the line is part of their Native Artists x Tea which celebrates Native artists and culture.

The day at the Pueblo was spent working with kids and photographing them wearing the clothes and playing at various locations throughout the village. The afternoon ended with a visit by Zia Pueblo-based pottery Ulysses Reid, who taught the kids how to work with the clay, make pots and apply paint to create pattern.

This unique blending of creativity and education is one of many components that add value to the Museum of New Mexico’s licensing partnerships. Not only do licensees have access to the unparalleled design resource in the four museums, but they also have the opportunity to tell the stories of the cultural and craft traditions embedded in the objects chosen for inspiration. To aid licensees in creating meaningful content, MNM Licensing provides educational information about the inspiration material and its role in cultural life

For licensing projects based on material in the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, we work with the Indian Advisory Panel, a committee comprised of members from New Mexico’s 19 Indian Pueblos. As reproductions of cultural material are not allowed, licensees are free to creatively adapt the designs to apply to their given market and current trend lines. All proposed designs are then reviewed by the Indian Advisory Panel. The process is collaborative, fun, and useful as often valuable educational information is shared. It also gives licensees the confidence that their products can be developed with sensitivity and respect and avoid issues that negatively impact their brand.

This collection is a fantastic example of how such a collaboration can work and create value for both the brand and the culture it is inspired by.

Click here to see the entire Native Artists x Tea Collection.

Click here to learn more about the Pueblo pottery making tradition.


Undaunted - A New Fabric Collection by Pollack


In collaboration with the New York-based fabric company Pollack, we are delighted to introduce Undaunted, a fabric collection inspired by a select group of textiles from the Museum of International Folk Art.

Fabrics from the Undaunted collection.

Pollack is known for its creative and artistic approach to design, for its sumptuous fabric choices, and for seeking out sources of inspiration well off the beaten path. That Pollack chose to explore our world-class ethnographic textile collection for inspiration was an honor and a thrill.

With over 30,000 hand-made textiles from over 100 countries and six continents, there was no lack of material to share with this talented group of designers, but, as with all successful creative endeavors, we needed to establish a point of view. We chose to direct the Pollack team to textiles that Museum of International Folk Art founder, Florence Dibell Bartlett, collected – specifically those featuring hand-stitching and hand weaving.


Miss Bartlett, as she was known was no ordinary collector. At the turn of 20th century this brave woman traveled alone to the Middle East and to Europe collecting the finest examples of each county’s traditional craft. She loved the material she so thoughtfully assembled, but more importantly she appreciated the artisans who created it. Over the course of her extensive travels, Miss Bartlett realized it was through artisans that a culture communicates its values and aesthetics. This realization informed her decision to establish the Museum and continues to define its mission today. She believed that by creating an environment where visitors could experience the world through craft made by its artisans, our common humanity would be revealed. As she, herself said, “the hand of the craftsman unites us all.”

Sofa and cushions upholstered with some of the Undaunted collection fabrics.

Inspiration textile (Burma, ca.1890) for Patternmaker fabric on the sofa.

Inspiration textile (Sweden, 19th century) for Ingrid fabric on the far right cushion.

Given such, the Pollack collection features eleven designs based on textiles from China, Hungary, Syria, Burma, Turkey and Guatemala. While inspiration for the collection came from such a diverse group of countries, the textiles all shared a grid-like geometry and were either hand stitched or woven. Employing a fresh eye, great skill and twenty-first century technology, the Pollack team transformed the original textiles into distinctly modern designs.

You can see the collection on the Pollack website.


Storied Traditions


Together with Andover Fabrics, MNM Licensing is proud to announce the launch of Story Lines, a 24-piece collection of hand blocked cotton fabric developed for the home sewing market. Story Lines marks the seventh collaboration between MNM Licensing and Andover Fabrics. For this group, Andover designer Kathy Hall was drawn to Central and West African textiles at the Museum of International Folk Art, specifically: handwoven Kuba cloth, Bogolanfini, or mud dyed cloth and Adire, or indigo wax resist dyed cloth.

The techniques employed to create the pattern and texture of the original textiles reflect both the unique design language of the makers and the materials available to them.

The patterns that emerge narrate the story of a given country, and the artist's world view. Finding inspiration in the diversity of material and breadth of pattern, Andover developed this joyful and graphically compelling collection.

Andover is a design studio and fabric converter, specializing in printing of cotton fabrics for quilting applications and home sewing. Distributed in throughout the US and in UK under the Makower brand. To see the collection visit:  Andover Fabrics


The Luminous Prints of Kate Krasin


One of the pleasures of licensing is bringing the work of talented artists to a wider audience. In 2012, the New Mexico Museum of Art received a sizable collection of work from the estate of master silkscreen printer, Kate Krasin (American, 1943–2010). We have since developed numerous projects using her sophisticated prints that explore and celebrate the beauty of the New Mexico landscape. Her highly refined work proved that silkscreen, or serigraphy, was not just a medium for photo-transfer T-shirts or simple graphic designs in flat colors. For a single print she might use as many as forty successive screens, all cut by hand, to create a detailed, textured work of art.

In partnership with MNM Licensing, Pomegranate Communications published this beautiful book showcasing 60 full color prints.

A spread from  Luminous Prints .

A spread from Luminous Prints.

Krasin studied the work of Japanese woodblock print artists and fellow Santa Fe woodcut artist Gustave Baumann. though appreciative of the medium, Kate, preferred the “dance” of silkscreen: the process of drawing the sketches, cutting the stencils, formulating the colors, printing by hand. She diluted inks and layered colors to create transparent, ethereal beauty.

Drawn to the southwestern landscape as subject again and again, she felt an affinity for her native New Mexico. “We happen to live in a landscape that is just fraught with color—red rock, turquoise skies, brilliant yellow chamisa, pink and maroon earth—it’s everywhere, so that walking here can make me high. And in New Mexico there’s a definite ancient feeling to the land, a sense of civilizations that have gone before, a pervasive quality that’s sometimes enough to make my hair stand on end. I want that mystery, as much as I can put it in a straight landscape. I try to make pictures of mystery—not just mountains, but rather the feeling, the meaning, of the Earth.”

Her book can be purchased at our museum shops. Pomegranate Communications also offers a current assortment of notecards and other printed projects featuring Kate's work.


Museum Design Summit 2017


The Alchemy of Design: Exploring Materials + Methods from Global Cultures to Tech Trailblazers

“Alchemy is a process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way.”
– Merriam Webster dictionary

On the cold and blustery last Friday in February, 100 people gathered on Museum Hill to watch the Pojoaque Pueblo dancers perform the Butterfly dance. This dance serves as a petition for rain, good health and long life for all living things. The Butterfly symbolizes beauty and contributes to the pollination of plant life. On Monday, storm clouds gathered, and over the course of the day it rained, hailed and finally snowed. Some would say it was a weather front, here in Santa Fe we call it alchemy. The dancers called the clouds and they came.

For those of you who spent three days in Santa Fe attending the second biennial Museum Design Summit you now understand better what alchemy means and why it happens so often here. For those of you who weren’t here, we invite you to come back in November 2018 to see for yourself.


As is our tradition as hosts of the Museum Design Summit, we gathered together leaders in design, manufacturing, retailing, fashion and media retailers in Santa Fe at the Museum of International Folk Art to explore various components of the design process.  The choice of the museum as the venue for the Summit is very intentional.  West of the Mississippi, the collections of our four museums are unrivaled in their depth and breadth. The 30,000-piece ethnographic textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art alone is one of the top ten in the world. The 20,000-piece pottery, basketry, ceramics and bead work collection at the Museum of Indian Arts is equally renowned. We want to share this extraordinary design resource with a select group of industry partners. And that this material represents not just the region’s cultures, but the world’s, we feel it is our duty to initiate meaningful conversations about how it can inspire great design. It is towards this end that we conceived of the Museum Design Summit and why we invited you to join the conversation.

One of the hands-on workshops making tie-dyed indigo tote bags with Nigerian Master Indigo Dyer, Gasali Adeyemo.

One of the hands-on workshops making tie-dyed indigo tote bags with Nigerian Master Indigo Dyer, Gasali Adeyemo.

L to R: Kourtney Morgan and Nellie Cohen of Patagonia, Paul Makovsky of Metropolis Magazine, Deborah Keiser of Sundance Catalog, audience members asking questions.

L to R: Kourtney Morgan and Nellie Cohen of Patagonia, Paul Makovsky of Metropolis Magazine, Deborah Keiser of Sundance Catalog, audience members asking questions.

In 2015, we looked at how global cultures and museums inform and inspire fashion and interiors – in the process we discussed the ethics of appropriation. (See the article in Interiors & Sources Magazine). In 2017, we decided to look at the nexus of technology and tradition.  Some may consider these two concepts at opposite ends of the spectrum – one fast and about the future, and one slow and about the past. At the Museum of New Mexico Licensing program we see them as two sides of the same coin, each contributing to innovation and collaboration. The speakers we invited showed us just how true this is in their respective business worlds.

L to R: Elissa Murry of Wolf Gordon, Khristian Lazzaro of West Elm, attendees examining rugs at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson of Ace & Jig

L to R: Elissa Murry of Wolf Gordon, Khristian Lazzaro of West Elm, attendees examining rugs at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson of Ace & Jig

Content ranged from the evolution of design and materials through historic trade routes, the role artisans can play in product design and how new materials are re-shaping our lives, to how sustainability and technological innovation drives design trends and the opportunities that new plant fibers present for product design. See bottom of post for the complete list of speakers.

Stay tuned for updates on the connections and partnerships made at the Summit. And we hope to see you in 2018!


The inspiring list of speakers:

Cary Vaughan & Jenna Wilson, Co-Founders of Ace & Jig
Deborah Keiser, VP of Supply Chain, Sundance Catalog
Jackie Dettmar, VP of Design & Product Development, Mohawk Group
Kourtney, Morgan, Lead Designer + Nellie Cohen, Worn Wear Program Manager, Patagonia
Lora Smith & Joe Schroeder, Big Switch Farm + Adele Stafford, Voices of Industry
Paul Makovsky, Editor, Metropolis Magazine
Pamela Kelly, VP Licensing & Branding, Museum of New Mexico Foundation


Mohawk Group hosts design event on Museum Hill


On October 13, 2016, the principals from twenty of the leading US architecture and design firms visited the basketry, pottery and textile collections at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and Museum of International Folk Art, enjoyed cocktails on Museum Hill under a full moon, and enjoyed a sit-down dinner in the museum atrium. The occasion? The Mohawk Group hosted its annual Future Workspace Design event in Santa Fe.

Touring the textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art.

Touring the textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art.

Touring the textile, pottery and basketry collection at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.

Touring the textile, pottery and basketry collection at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.

The Georgia-based Mohawk Group is the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, carpeting and hard surfaces. Every year the company hosts their top clients in a new and inspiring locale to explore emerging trends, and make new connections with architecture and design professionals from around the world.

Over two days, Mohawk’s guests learned about the company’s new product, listened to a variety of trend forecasts, and explored Santa Fe and our museums.

The Licensing Department was thrilled to host Mohawk’s guests and share with them the extraordinary design resource within our museums. The event was a huge success, with essential support from Museum of International Folk Art staff Laura Lovejoy-May, textile curator Carrie Hertz, volunteers Barbara Forsland and Ava Fullerton and Museum of Indian Arts & Culture curators Valerie Verzuh and Cathy Notarnicola.


Valdese Weavers' Textile Competition Focuses on Adapting Cultural Materials for Modern Designs


We recently had the honor of hosting a textile design competition initiated by Valdese Weavers. Laura Levinson, Creative Vice President for Valdese Weavers, tasked her creative team with a unique challenge: design a textile – residential or contract -- inspired by pottery or basketry from the collections at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture. The seventeen in-house designers reviewed photographs of objects chosen by Laura during a previous visit to the Museum and chose one from which to develop a new fabric. Utilizing the diverse material resources for which Valdese is so well known, the designers got to work. The resulting group of sophisticated and diverse fabrics demonstrated a thoughtful and impressive creative effort by Valdese’s team of designers.

When asked about the contest, Pamela Kelly, VP of Licensing for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation said, “We so value our partnership with Valdese and have the highest regard for Laura. She is a thoughtful, wise and inspiring person and this group of young designers is lucky to have her as a mentor. Because of her vast creative experience, Laura understands the value and uniqueness of our museum materials. For that we are grateful and honored to work with her.”

This competition highlighted the inherent challenge and opportunity the museum offers designers when working with cultural material. The inspiration material is quite special as it is hand-made and represents the spirit of the maker. As such, the museum requires all its design partners to adapt and expand the source material, rather than replicate or appropriate. We believe this transformative step is essential in working with such material as it shows respect for the culture and maker of the original item. Equally it requires designers to deeply examine the original piece and understand how the materials and construction influence the ultimate design. This level of effort encourages designers to draw on their own talents to create something new but with the essence of the source material still evident.

LEFT: Our favorite three contract designs. RIGHT: Our top four residential designs.

LEFT: Our favorite three contract designs. RIGHT: Our top four residential designs.

The winning two contract designs. TOP: Design by Abby Scheer, inspired by a graphically patterned pot from Acoma Pueblo. BOTTOM: Design by Jackie London, inspired by a textural ancestral Pubelo pot made with fingernail indentations.

The winning two contract designs. TOP: Design by Abby Scheer, inspired by a graphically patterned pot from Acoma Pueblo.
BOTTOM: Design by Jackie London, inspired by a textural ancestral Pubelo pot made with fingernail indentations.

Choosing a winner for each category was challenging! There were so many fantastic designs. Our panel of judges took their time examining each fabric and discussing how the designer creatively adapted the source material, the strength of the design and the appropriateness for the fabrics’ intended use. The winning fabric for each category will be put into the Valdese line and will benefit the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. Each of the two winners will also attend the 2017 Museum Design Summit this February.

The winning residential design is by Mary Krochmalny and was inspired by a different ancestral Pueblo pot decorated with fingernail indentations.

The winning residential design is by Mary Krochmalny and was inspired by a different ancestral Pueblo pot decorated with fingernail indentations.

To judge the competition, the Museum brought together a dynamic group of professionals with distinct areas of expertise and backgrounds: museum curators, designers, business and licensing professionals, a manufacturer and a textile scholar. Each “judge” brought their unique perspective to the competition, which in turn expanded the parameters for evaluating the fabrics. The whole exercise confirmed the value of cross-pollination and collaboration in design.

Kimberle Frost, Textile Designer
Robert Nachman, Textile Professional
Dr. Bobbie Sumberg, Textile Scholar and Curator
Tony Chavarria, Curator of Ethnology, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
Valerie Verzuh, Curator, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
Pamela Kelly, VP Licensing & Branding, Museum of New Mexico Foundation
Saro Calewarts, Licensing & Brand Manager, Museum of New Mexico Foundation

Congratulations to the winners and to all of the designers!


Upcoming Rug and Fabric Collections, Jan Kath and Pollack Join Our Roster of Licencees


The Museum of New Mexico Licensing Department is pleased to announce the addition of two new licensees to its roster of impressive partners: Jan Kath (hand knotted carpets) and Pollack (residential and contract textiles). Both companies will respectively produce lines inspired by the world-renown ethnographic textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art and the extensive pottery and basketry collections at the Museum of Indian Arts Culture.

Left: Jan Kath with one of his designs. Right: Kyle Clarkson of Kyle and Kath and Jan Kath's business partner   
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Left: Jan Kath with one of his designs. Right: Kyle Clarkson of Kyle and Kath and Jan Kath's business partner, finding inspiration for the collection in the archives at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.

JAN KATH is one of the world’s most in-demand designers of hand-knotted carpets and he purposely breaks with conventional styles and throws strict design rules overboard. With his interpretation of the modern carpet, Kath has developed an unmistakable signature that defines style and is one of the most important carpet designers on the international stage today. Although the allure created by imperfection, erosion, and transformation plays a central role in his designs, Kath is “uncompromisingly conservative” where quality is concerned, working with carpet weavers in Nepal and India.

Guaranteed to be dramatic and gorgeous, the Kath/Museum of New Mexico collection will launch in May 2017.

The Pollack design team in the textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art. Left to Right: Molly Haynes, Chase Taylor, Rachel Doriss.

The Pollack design team in the textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art. Left to Right: Molly Haynes, Chase Taylor, Rachel Doriss.

POLLACK has established a reputation for signature woven fabrics with sophisticated aesthetics, intricate constructions, nuanced color palettes and timeless elegance. Now in its twenty-seventh year, the company is thriving under the creative leadership of Rachel Doriss, VP and Design Director. With a thorough and thoughtful approach to design, her team balances various perspectives, taking into account source inspiration, yarn, weave, market needs, end use, and performance. They believe, “the whole cloth is greater than the sum of its parts, that we experience fabric on many levels and with most of our senses.”

We are excited to see what this creative team comes up with from the wonderful array of materials they selected while visiting our museums. This new collection will launch in 2018.


Traditions Made Modern® Revealed at High Point


In partnership with four home décor licensees: Hickory Chair (case goods and upholstered furniture), Maitland Smith (decorative accessories), Jaipur Living (hand knotted rugs) and Wildwood Lamps, MNM Licensing introduced a coordinated home décor collection that celebrates the mixing and melding of cultural traditions and international styles.

These new collections feature respectful adaptations of traditional and ethnographic materials distilled into modern pieces imbued with history and place. Hickory Chair’s 20-piece collection presents a mix of streamlined interpretations of the European furniture brought to Santa Fe by some of its illustrious citizens and the Southwest’s unique version of the early 20th century Arts and Crafts tradition. Adapting African Kuba cloth designs, Jaipur Living delivered a stunning group of hand knotted carpets rich in texture and softly modern in palette and pattern. Inspiration for Wildwood’s assortment of lamps bridged world’s both near and far – rustic Americana furniture, Native American jewelry, Turkish ceramics, and indigo dyed Japanese coats.

Considered together, the collection embodies the essence of Traditions Made Modern®: designed for the consumer that appreciates an eclectic and layered look -- one reflecting the way people live today, and how they bring together pieces of diverse origin and character in their own homes to achieve a fresh and contemporary style

Traditions Made Modern® takes inspiration from the collections at the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and New Mexico History Museum. Proceeds from the sales of these collections help support exhibitions, education and acquisitions at these museums and the New Mexico Museum of Art.


Cultural Appreciation & Inspiration: two relevant and recent articles from Interiors & Sources


We're pleased to share two articles in the recent Interiors & Sources. One by Pamela Kelly, Vice President of Branding for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, and a profile of Lori Weitzner, founder of Weitzner Limited (Lori was a speaker at our First Biannual 2015 Museum Design Summit.)

Pamela wrote an informative piece on the importance of understanding the philosophical and practical differences between appreciation and appropriation when working with global materials for design inspiration. This is a topic we think is important for designers to be informed about, especially if they work with material or inspiration from other cultures.

Global Design: The Difference Between Appreciation and Appropriation by Pamela Kelly

The Future Is Individualism a profile of Lori Weitzner by Kadie Yale

A West Elm Rug (L) and the Native American Basket(R) that inspired it.

A West Elm Rug (L) and the Native American Basket(R) that inspired it.

As a designer who is continually inspired by the beauty in other cultures, Lori intrinsically understands the work of individual crafts people and how that imbues products with a unique quality.

“It’s selling successfully, so what does that tell you? The soul of that artisan is in the product, and people love that. Especially in this high-tech era—to have things that are soulful and tactile, and made from pure things—it’s really cool.”


Indigo Shibori Inspiration


A recent interview with Danish artist, Grethe Wittrock, about her work for an exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum has reignited our forever-love of indigo textile traditions. Her feathery fabric treatments in white and indigo got us thinking about Japanese Shibori specifically and finding inspiration in its elemental patterns that evoke water and sky. We love how the patterns vary and balance both loose/organic and structured/ geometric elements. Components that make it so friendly to interior décor and a wide range of product categories.

With many fine Shibori examples in our textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art, we decided to create an inspiration board. As well as highlight a recent textile collection by our licensing partner Designtex. While not developed in partnership with us, we still love how they utilized the traditional patterns and shading to create a collection that is both true to its traditional source and fresh and contemporary. Please visit their site to see more.

Shibori is a Japanese resist dyeing technique using an infinite number of binding, stitching, folding or twisting techniques to create the pattern. Traditionally an art form of the poor in feudal Japan to renew old clothing, it eventually flourished and evolved into many forms and styles across classes. Two distinct forms emerged: one to decorate silk for the kimonos of the aristocracy and another as regional styles of folk art. There are about 15 different styles and each is complex and requires specific mastery in that technique, with traditional artisans spending years to develop their skill in that method. Most commonly created in shades of blue and white with indigo dye, many other colors can be used as well. We are currently taken with shades of blue and white.

And last but not least, more wonderful indigo inspiration from Rowland and Chinami Ricketts.

L to R, T to B: Work by Grethe Wittrock, Designtex Shibori patterns, Shibori Studio wallpaper, Rebecca Atwood pillows, Shibori textile from Museum of International Folk Art, Feeling Groovy tent.


Fifth Collection with Kravet Fabrics


We are delighted with this new, our fifth, collection of upholstery fabrics by Kravet. This collection tells the story of this unique place as a crossroads of international trade and culture through fabrics inspired by our museum’s renowned textile, basketry and ceramic collections.

Inspiration for these modern interpretations of traditional designs was drawn primarily from small-scale patterns and embroideries in the 25,000-piece textile and dress collection at the Museum of International Folk Art. Iconic Native American textile and ceramic pieces from the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture also influenced many of the collection’s designs.

Color and texture inspirations came from diverse mediums such as pottery, basketry, textiles and cut paper patterns, resulting in rich textures and pops of vivid colors that mimic the crisp blue sky, the red earth and an array of the complimentary hues, both hot and cool, so often identified with the beautiful Santa Fe landscape.

For centuries, Santa Fe has been an international hub of culture and commerce, as well as a creative haven for artists, writers, collectors and others drawn to the region’s bohemian lifestyle, spacious landscapes and rich cultural traditions. This eclectic ensemble of textiles embodies this creative approach to living – collected, worldly and modern.

Find more information about this collection at the Kravet website.


New Partnership with Signature Design Archive


We are pleased to announce that we have signed on with Signature Design Archive to represent our licensing interests in Asia and the Pacific. The SDA team brings a wealth of experience in licensing and brand development. We look forward to working with them to share with the Asian and Pacific markets the unique design archive available in our four Santa Fe-based museums.


Renewed Licensing Deal with Hickory Chair and Maitland-Smith


Heritage Home Brands companies Hickory Chair and Maitland-Smith have signed a licensing agreement with the Museum of New Mexico Foundation to develop a furniture (case goods and upholstery) and accessory collection that will launch in October 2015 (Maitland-Smith) and April 2016 (Hickory Chair). As one of our first licensees, we are pleased to continue developing high quality products with Hickory Chair, and now accent items with Maitland-Smith.