La Farge Foundation for Folk Art

La Farge Foundation for Folk Art

1512 Pacheco Street, Suite C-202, Santa Fe, NM 87505




Folk art is a mechanism for storytelling and values transmission. To understand a community, we examine its artifacts, not just the tools of its industry, politics, and commerce, but the essential “non-essentials,” the ornaments, fetishes, and toys that reveal perspectives on matters of spirit such as rivalry, aggression, tolerance, faith, finitude, and love.

In the United States, and perhaps particularly in the Southwestern United States, where Latin American immigration is prevalent and increasing, it is in our interest as citizens to honor and assist in the preservation of Latin American cultures. This process of honoring and preserving calls for a gathering of intelligence, and we believe that much intelligence can come from thoughtful engagement with folk art and artisans.


The Patricia Arscott La Farge Foundation for Folk Art was established by Patricia La Farge and her daughter Sarah in 2007 after many years of discussion of how to generously and responsibly prepare for the eventual unwinding of Patricia’s import business, Que Tenga Buena Mano.

First, there was the problem of what to do with thousands of square feet of “inventory” resulting from over forty years of buying and collecting in Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, El Salvador, Brazil, France, Morocco, and Turkey. Of greater concern, however, were questions about how to capture and represent Patricia’s accumulated knowledge and how to support Latin American artisans and artisan families with whom Patricia has collaborated over many, many years.

The solution was to establish a U.S. 501(c)(3) private operating foundation, which could initially serve as a platform for Patricia’s philanthropic support of Latin American folk art and gradually broaden in scope to become a research facility and teaching and learning space for artisans, students, collectors, and anyone else interested in understanding communities around the world through their folk art.