70 E Cedar St, Chicago, IL 60611
Museum of International Folk Art, On Museum Hill, 706 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505
El Mirador, 365 Co Rd 40, Alcalde, NM 87511
Wesley Woods Conference Center, 250 Stam St, Williams Bay, WI 53191
Oak Woods Cemetery Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Florence Dibell Bartlett (1881 – May 2, 1954) was a Chicago heiress and folk art collector, who is best known for founding the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the world's first international folk art museum. The museum was founded to express her belief that folk art is a bond between the people of the world.
The museum opened to the public in September, 1953, and has gained national and international recognition as the home to the world’s largest collection of folk art. Its collection of more than 135,000 artifacts is divided into four exhibition wings: Bartlett, Girard, Hispanic Heritage, and Neutrogena. Bartlett collected folk art, costumes, textiles and jewelry from 39 countries. She financed the Museum, described as "the richest gift New Mexico ever received." She also gave Swedish wall hangings and a Swedish furnished house to the Chicago Art Institute, a Guatemalan collection of costumes and textiles to the Natural History Museum of Chicago, and Indian material to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AR, and to the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe.
Bartlett was the daughter of Adolphus Clay Bartlett, was a founder of Hubbard, Spencer, Bartlett, and company, hardware firm, who died in 1922. His company became part of True Value Hardware. Florence Bartlett's sister, Maie Bartlett Heard, was co-founder of the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
Florence Bartlett had a winter home, El Mirador, in Alcalde, New Mexico, near Los Luceros, the home of Mary Cabot Wheelwright, founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, also in Santa Fe. Bartlett gave her Alcalde house and property to the State of New Mexico, as part of her gift that founded MOIFA.
The Bartlett Wing, named in honor of the museum's founder, has two galleries with rotating exhibits from the museum's collection and gathered in field studies of specific cultures or art forms. Focuses in the Bartlett wing have ranged from Turkish, Tibetan and Swedish traditions, to New Deal-era New Mexican art.
Bartlett was decorated with the Order of Vasa by King Gustav V of Sweden in recognition of her interest in Swedish Art.
Florence Dibell Bartlett, who grew up on a summer estate on Geneva lake, donated the dining room and kitchen at the Eleanor Women's Organization for their summer camp. The camp hosted 120 women each summer, between 30 and 45 at a time.
Florence Dibell Bartlett plunged to death on May 2, 1954, from the patio of her seventeenth-floor penthouse apartment in Chicago. The body landed in a parking lot after striking an automobile. Moments before Miss Ellen Petersen, a cook, told police she saw Bartlett make three attempts to climb over a 3-foot brick wall of the patio which overlooks the lake but did not see her leap.
In the library of Bartlett's 12-room 2-story apartment police found two sealed envelopes addressed to her maid Mrs Marie Hjerto and to Frank Wallace, an official of the Northern Trust company. A scratch pad bore a notation asking that Wallace and Bartlett B. Heard of Berkeley, CA, be notified. The note to the maid read: Dear Marie: A check will come from the bank and this (a check for $75) is a gift that is enclosed in apprecation for all that you have done. I hope you will feel that you can stay on for a while in this home even though I will not be here. Florence Dibell Bartlett. P.S. I did not tell you of the accident to my foot, so painful. The reference to the accident was not explained. Mrs Hjerto told police that Bartlett had been desponent since the death of her brother Frederick Clay Bartlett, distinguished artist, who died on June 25, 1953, in his Beverly, MA, home at the age of 80.
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