Update: Josefina Aguilar is now blind, as of 2014. Read more about how she continues to create folk art, despite her disability, here: Josefina Aguilar – Artist Update
Josefina Aguilar of Oaxaca, Mexico, is perhaps one of the most collectable folk artists today. Josefina’s skill was noticed when she was quite young, and by the time she was in her early twenties, articles about her work began to appear in European and North American journals. Today, her work can be seen in the International Folk Art Museum of Santa Fe, the Rockefeller wing of the San Antonio Art Museum, and the Mexican Museums of San Francisco and Chicago.
Although Josefina is celebrated as a master in Oaxaca and beyond, it is definitely a family affair! Her mother DoÃ±a Isaura Alcantara sold her craftwork directly to Nelson Rockefeller and Alexander Gerourd of the International Folk Art Museum. Dona Isaura’s daughters Guillermina, Josefina, Irene, and Concepcion have all acquired mastery in the medium, and have developed their own specialties. Their works are sought by art lovers everywhere, and now, in turn, they are passing their skill on to their children.
Josefina may be the most recognized among Dona Isaura’s daughters, and her works are perhaps the most widely collected. Her clay figures depict people and rituals in everyday village life, as well as incredible religious and folkloric figures and scenes.