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Woodcarved Sculpture: Scholarly Frog Reading Classics

by Miguel Santiago Soriano (San Antonio Arrazola, Oaxaca)

This piece is for sale on our website (www.fofa.us) Click for details


Ernest (Ernie) Kafka and his wife Barbara have generously bestowed FOFA with a magnificent portion of their Oaxacan folk art collection. The donation consists of 96 extraordinary, museum-quality woodcarvings, ceramic sculptures, and papier mâché figures by numerous master folk artists of Oaxaca. This is the second time the Kafkas have shared their treasures with us. They initially gifted over 200 primarily smaller works in 2011, which FOFA sold to raise funds to support our projects in Oaxaca. Ernie has been a FOFA board member since its inception in 2007.




Ceramic Plaque: Library

by Demetrio García Aguilar (Ocotlán de Morelos, Oaxaca)

FOFA is planning educational events and sales featuring this collection in fall and winter, 2014-15. Details will follow. In the meantime, one of these amazing works (the scholarly frog pictured above) appears on FOFA's home page for purchase by the highest bidder at or over the minimum price (www.fofa.us). The deadline for bids is the end of the day (12:00 midnight EST) on June 27th, 2014. Here's a great way to support FOFA's mission -- preservation and promotion of Oaxaca's folk arts!



Ernie and Barbara Kafka



College sweethearts who met in 1952 as undergraduates at Harvard and Radcliffe and married in 1955, both Ernie and Barbara have had stellar respective professional lives.


Ernie is a physician whose luminous career as a psychoanalyst has included being a member of the Faculty and Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and the author of multiple contributions to the psychoanalytic literature. Among his remarkable talents is his artistic and discriminating eye as both a photographer -- creating vibrant images, among them several of Oaxacan artesanos, that have been featured in exhibitions in New York City -- and a connoisseur of Mexican folk art.


Barbara has been a star of the culinary world: the winner of many awards, including the James Beard Foundation lifetime achievement award and a member of boards of culinary and educational organizations. She has served as consultant to restaurants, a product designer, and a teacher. The author of six highly regarded cookbooks, she has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, Gourmet, Family Circle and Vogue, and appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, and the Food Channel.



The Kafkas's interest in Mexico began when British friends invited them to their richly decorated colonial home in San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. The climate, the beauty of that Spanish colonial town, the food, and the scenery all appealed greatly. Their folk art collection, mainly works from Michoacán, with some from Oaxaca as well, caught Ernie's attention.




Sculpture of Wood and Ceramics: Family Kitchen

(unsigned piece by folk artist from state of Michoacán)


The next spring the Kafkas decided to go to Oaxaca, with its fine museums, excellent food, charming small and grand hotels, and villages widely known for their crafts. Being the scholar that he is, Ernie's research on the area led him to the book written by psychoanalytic colleague (years later FOFA's President) Arden Rothstein on Oaxaca's artesano families. Escorted by Arden's local friend and driver, Tino, who showed them around, Ernie and Barbara met artisans, bought many excellent pieces, and hired the premier packing/shipping services to deliver their purchases safely. Smitten by this introduction to Oaxaca, they made several return trips -- preceded by lots of reading and study of Spanish - in the course of which they deepened their ties and desire to preserve the artisanal work. From Ernie's perspective, Oaxacan crafts people have a way of life that should also be supported, especially given the difficulties posed by economic and social-political change. In the true style of backing up their concerns with action, Ernie and Barbara have been constant friends of the artists through their interest in FOFA and their active contribution to its board.


Click on the link above to make a donation of any amount to support our valuable efforts. Thank you! 

www.fofa.us 718-859-1515 info@fofa.us  275 Central Park West, #1-C  New York, New York 10024