“Step around the corner and see the world.”
-John Roberts, Founder of Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures
On April 15th, 2011 the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures found a new home in a city-owned building located near the Old Town Square area of Ft. Collins. The collections of John Roberts, founder of the museum, Stewart Price, Jeanne Nash and others were moved from a 200 square-foot facility to a 6800 square-foot building.
On display is folk art collected from all corners of the globe. Folk art is art produced by indigenous cultures or native peoples. It differs from fine art as it is often produced without regard for the rules of proportion, perspective, or style.
The late Jeanne Nash, whose artifacts make up most of the permanent collection of miniatures, collected items from all over the world. Since 1989, she traveled the world collecting, and has now fulfilled her dream of sharing that collection with the world.
John Roberts is a former Peace Corps volunteer, a Foreign Service Diplomat, and a Peace Corps Country Director who was assigned to 19 foreign countries. While serving in these countries, he collected dozens of folk-art pieces that are now on display at the museum.
Stewart Price, who acquired his folk art while living in Japan for more than 40 years, donated his personal collection to the museum. It is made up of the folk-art pieces that adorned his Japanese living room and bedroom.
The point is that these are collections put together by people who appreciate the art of the local culture regardless of where that local culture is. The pieces are made to decorate the homes and structures of the local people, not to impress art critics or to sell to dealers.
In addition to the permanent collections on display, the museum has frequent visiting exhibits that have included folk art from Africa, Asia, and North America. Currently on display is Native American Art from the Four Corners Region.
The area, familiar to most people as the spot where one can stand in four states at once, is also home to many past and present Native American cultures: current tribes include Navaho, Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo; past or vanished tribes include Hohokam, and Mogolion. The latter disappeared in the 15th century and may be the ancestors of modern-day Hopi and Zuni peoples.
The special collection on display is as comprehensive as it is impressive. It covers a wide variety of Native American folk art: baskets, pottery, textiles, sand paintings, and dolls are just a few of the hand-made items you will see.
Allow yourself at least one hour to see this museum. It took me two hours to take it all in, but I am the type of museum visitor who takes the time to view the displays and to read the informative placards. Why? Because there always seems to be something new to learn at a place like this.