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Finding Aid for the Craft and Folk Art Museum records, ca. 1965-1997
1835  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Craft and Folk Art Museum records
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1965-1997
    Collection number: 1835
    Creator: Craft and Folk Art Museum
    Extent: 550 boxes (225 linear ft.)
    Abstract: The Craft and Folk Art Museum has been an extraordinarily active institution both in its first incarnation as the commercial folk art and crafts gallery, The Egg and The Eye (1965-1975), and then as the nonprofit museum (1975-1997) that carried on the gallery's interest in contemporary crafts and international folk art, and in the eighties added product design and vernacular architecture to its program. The collection consists of papers, publications, photographs, press clippings and media releases, slides, audiotapes, videotapes, films, memorabilia, and objects.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of the Craft and Folk Art Museum, 1997.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Joan Benedetti, Heather Lowe, Linda Klouzal, and Michelle Arens in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010; edited by Yasmin Damshenas, 2012.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Craft and Folk Art Museum records (Collection Number 1835). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Biography/History

    The Craft and Folk Art Museum (still operating at its original location at 5814 Wilshire Blvd.) has been an extraordinarily active institution both in its first incarnation as the commercial folk art and crafts gallery, The Egg and The Eye (1965-1975), and then as the nonprofit museum (1975-1997) that carried on the gallery's interest in contemporary crafts and international folk art, and in the eighties added product design and vernacular architecture to its program. Founded by Edith R. Wyle, it was a showcase for the material culture of the world at a time when there were few ethnically-specific art institutions in Los Angeles. It was a pioneer in the involvement of local cultural communities in the planning and execution of exhibitions of folk art; it was a prestigious venue for the exhibition of the best of contemporary fine craft; and it was one of the first museums to show architectural and furniture prototypes. For almost 20 years, it sponsored a beloved annual event, the Festival of Masks, that involved over 100 local cultural groups in a weekend of festivities: a masked parade, two days of nonstop performances, food, and demonstration booths run by many of the local community organizations. It was the first-and for many years the only--L.A. organization to sponsor this type of multicultural event.
    Edith R. Wyle founded The Egg and The Eye in 1965, a commercial folk art and crafts gallery, which evolved into the Craft and Folk Art Museum in 1975. (The museum received its nonprofit status from the IRS in April 1973, but the first exhibitions organized by CAFAM were not mounted until August 1975.) CAFAM carried on the gallery's interest in contemporary crafts and international folk art, and in the eighties added product design and vernacular architecture to its program. The museum was a showcase for the material culture of the world at a time when there were few ethnically-specific art institutions in Los Angeles. CAFAM was known for the involvement of local cultural communities in its planning and execution of exhibitions of folk art, its exhibitions of contemporary fine craft, and for being one of the first museums to show architectural and furniture prototypes. For almost 20 years, it sponsored the annual Festival of Masks, which involved over 100 local cultural groups in a weekend of festivities: a masked parade, two days of nonstop performances, and food and demonstration booths run by many of the local community organizations. It was the first, and for many years the only, Los Angeles organization to sponsor this type of multicultural event.
    After closing temporarily at the beginning of 1998 due to financial difficulties, the Museum sold its permanent object collection at auction. It regrouped and reopened in the Spring of 1999 minus its permanent collections, its library (given to the L.A. County Museum of Art Research Library), and its institutional archives (given to the UCLA Library).

    Scope and Content

    The Craft and Folk Art Museum Records consist of papers, publications, photographs, press clippings and media releases, slides, audiotapes, videotapes, films, memorabilia, and objects. These materials document fully the life of the organization from the opening of its predecessor, The Egg and The Eye Gallery, in 1965 until the temporary closing of the museum at the end of 1997.
    Besides administrative, trustee, departmental, and special events files, the most significant series within the archives are those of CAFAM's predecessor, The Egg and The Eye Gallery; Craft and Folk Art Museum Exhibitions; Festival of Masks; the P.E.T. (Preserving Ethnic Traditions) files; the Language of Objects Project files; and the files of the Center for the Study of Art and Culture, an adjunct program of the CAFAM research library, intended to be a fellowship program and "think tank." All exhibitions, festivals, and special events are documented with slides, as well as photographs, audiotapes, videotapes, films, posters, and other memorabilia. The latter includes awards, t-shirts, signage, admission and promotional buttons, etc.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The CAFAM Records are divided into 21 record groups; each record group is subdivided into a number of series. The record groups correspond roughly to the original order of the files, most of which were created by staff of the various museum departments or coordinators of events. Some record groups are divided by media, e.g., posters, memorabilia, audiovisual materials. There is a good deal of cross-over of subject matter between record groups. For example, although most exhibition materials will be found in Record Group 10 (Exhibitions), some materials related to grant-writing for exhibitions will probably be found in Record Group 3 (Development); some media releases and correspondence related to exhibition publicity will be found in Record Group 4 (Public Relations); and education programs related to exhibitions may be found in Record Group 6 (Education). Some cross-references are provided in the scope notes but if one is looking for files related to a specific event or a particular person, it will always be best to first do a keyword search. Within each series, files are generally in order either alphabetically or chronologically, whichever is most appropriate to the series. A good deal of background information will be found in the ScopeContent notes.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Craft and Folk Art Museum.
    Museums --California --Los Angeles --Archival resources.

    Related Material

    Two collections that had been given to the Craft and Folk Art Museum Research Library are now separate collections within UCLA Library Special Collections: Southern California Designer Crafts records (Collection 1837)   and Mandell Gallery records (Collection 1836)  .