The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block has received a collection of Mexican folk art, expanding its existing Folk Art of the Americas collection.
The collection from Vicki Ragan and Shepard Barbash will add more than 1,210 individual works, including wooden carvings made by artists working mostly in the villages of San Martín Tilcajete, Arrazola and La Unión Tejalapan, and clay sculptures mostly made by the Aguilar family in Ocotlán de Morelos.
Pieces from the Ragan/Barbash gift will be on display this fall.
“Thanks to this exciting donation, visitors will be able to easily connect to a unique aesthetic and better understand other cultures, people and context,” said TMA chief executive officer Jeremy Mikolajczak.
According to Mikolajczak, the Ragan/Barbash gift will significantly impact TMA’s ability to represent the artists of the Oaxacan region. TMA’s Folk Art of the Americas collection contains nearly 3,000 objects from South, North and Central America.
Ragan, a photographer, and her husband, author and journalist Barbash, spent three years in Mexico collecting and documenting the work of woodcarvers and clay sculptors.