The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) champions cultural understanding by encouraging curiosity about our diverse world through the universal lens of art. Our exhibits and programs serve as a catalyst for the exploration of art and ideas that reflect our ever-changing community.
The museum is guided by the conviction that its programming should bridge local and global cultures, and inspire a sense of inquiry and creativity within all people. Located on Los Angeles’ prestigious Museum Row, CAFAM acts as a catalyst for cultural understanding and unity in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Our original exhibitions and public programs are developed in close collaboration with community cultural groups to ensure authentic expression.
At CAFAM we view the term “folk art” in a contemporary and dynamic light that is not limited to one frame. We consider all art made in a cultural and social context as part of our domain. Our stance encompasses a wide breath of art and ideas ranging from Polynesian body tattoos that mark a tribe, whether traditional or urban, to the modern interpretation of ancient cave paintings from India that offer political commentary about a post-9/11 world, to a photojournalist’s observations of the complexity of contemporary Iranian society.
Folk art offers cultural insights not readily seen in other art forms since it is created with an awareness of, and a connection to tradition and community. The process of creating folk art is a varied and dynamic one that builds on traditional methods or ideas, but also includes individual creativity and contemporary influences. This artistic merger of social order and individual creativity offers incredible insight into global and local values and beliefs. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of folk art is how sublimely it reveals human similarities amongst diverse cultures.