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.

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.”

A spread from Luminous Prints.

A spread from Luminous Prints.

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.

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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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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

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

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 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.

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.

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, finding inspiration for the collection in the archives 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, 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

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.

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

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.

 

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.