Folk Art of the 19th Century Southwest: the Impact of Trade on Tradition



Canning, Ellie

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This thesis focuses on folk art of the southwestern United States, made in what is now New Mexico in the 19th century. The US annexation of Mexico changed many aspects of territorial life, including access to new materials, changes in land ownership, new citizenship status, and a new language and culture entering the state. Through the case studies of two different types of folk art, colcha textiles and tin religious niches, this thesis argues for the environmental and economic impact that US incursion had on traditional folk-art practices. Through collection and accessioning at the Museum of International Folk Art in the 20th century, the museum defined and ascribed meanings to the folk-art objects that changed over time as the museum definition of folk art itself changed.



Folk art, New Mexico, 19th century, US-Mexico borderlands, Textiles, Tinwork