If Walls Could Speak
An occasional event begun in 1926 by the Spanish Colonial Art Society, Spanish Market was created to help preserve a folk art form that seemed endangered by modernity. The writers and collectors from the East who founded the SCAS feared that New Mexico’s unique religious art — European forms reinterpreted by Native and Hispano craftsmen — might disappear unless supported by outside collectors.
The SCAS tried to encourage villagers in folk art production, but the Depression and World War II sent many of them to the cities in search of other work. For decades Spanish Market was an arm of the more popular Indian Market, until a new generation of Hispano artisans sparked a resurgence of interest in the mid-1960s. By 1972, Spanish Market had grown large enough to command its own audience — featuring more than 350 artists today.