cover image Folk Treasures of Mexico

Folk Treasures of Mexico

Marion Oettinger, JR.. ABRAMS, $65 (223pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-1182-6

As displayed here, the late Nelson Rockefeller's diverse collection of historic and contemporary Mexican folk art--housed in the San Antonio Museum of Art and San Francisco's Mexican Museum--will captivate aficionados. Mexican popular arts touch all facets of daily life, from tortilla molds carved with animal or religious motifs to ex-votos, small paintings commissioned to commemorate recovery from illness or escape from danger. Serapes, embroidery, pull toys, dowry chests, masks and ceremonial objects attest to the Mexicans' exuberance and sense of ritual. A ghoulish earthenware Tree of Death and carefree sugar-paste figurines, shown here, present varied responses to the Indian fiesta known as the Day of the Dead. A tie-in with a traveling exhibition, this volume, a cornucopia of riches, includes 166 illustrations, commentaries by scholars and Rockefeller's own essay, written in 1978 but never before published, celebrating the continuity of Mexican culture. (Sept.)