Museum of Craft and Folk Art

 

The MOCFA is the only museum of its kind in northern California, and is the center for art in the San Francisco Bay area. Originally established as the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, it was founded by two bay area artists, Gertrud Parker (1930-), a fiber artist nd collector inspired to open a museum following a visit to the American Craft Museum in New York, where she found the permanent collection dominated by Bayarea artists, and Margery Anneberg, a jewelry maker, gallery owner, and founder of the non-profit Center for Folk Art and Contemporary Craft. The two womenmerged their forces and collections in 1983 and opened a small museum in a private residence on Balboa Street near Golden Gate Park. In 1987 the museum relocatedto Fort Mason Center, the thriving cultural complex in the marina district of San Francisco.In 1988 the museum presented an innovative exhibition of quilts by east bay residents, “Improvisations in African American Quiltmaking,” which focused on therelationship between the visual arts and the improvisational nature of jazz. This exciting exhibition traveled to thirty museums in twenty states across the nation, bringingthe institution national recognition.In 1991 the permanent collection was de-accessioned, with three quarters of the objects placed in other educational institutions. In 2000 the museum was renamedMuseum of Craft and Folk Art. Operating now as a non-collecting museum, MOCFA continues to develop exhibitions emphasizing the accomplishments of diverseCalifornian populations. The museum works with established and emerging artists, both trained and self-taught, in a variety of materials and forms such as clay, clothing,fiber, glass, wood, metal, furniture and jewelry.More than 200 exhibits of contemporary crafts, American folk art, and traditional cultural art have been presented since 1983. Four to six exhibitions are presentedeach year. An on-line registry is maintained which provides brief sketches of artists with their works categorized by medium. The library of 2,000 catalogued volumesoffers specialized research in the history of craft and folk art. A Report, the museum’s scholarly journal, is published quarterly and features in-depth coverage of currentexhibits, biographies of local artists and collectors, and interviews with major artists.

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