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The seed that eventually sprouted into Que Tenga Buena Mano was planted in 1966, when Patricia La Farge was working as a price analyst for a German company. Her work allowed her to live anywhere she chose, and after some exploration, she settled in Taxco, Mexico. There, Patricia’s enthusiasm for Mexican folk art intensified as she became acquainted with Bill Spratling, Antonio Castillo, and Ysidro Garcia, pioneers in what was to become the great Mexican silver tradition.
In 1969, Patricia opened Que Tenga Buena Mano in Santa Fe, New Mexico with more spirit than money. She has worked nearly every single day since then, doting on her business as she would a child; carefully selecting materials; and cultivating relationships with talented artisans, competent dealers, and devoted collectors.
Over the years, Patricia has had many opportunities to display and market segments of the Buena Mano collection. She has presented religious folk art in church galleries across the U.S., from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan to St. James-by-the-Sea in La Jolla.
An instigator of the now-famous International Folk Art Market, Patricia sponsors or otherwise assists at least one Latin American artisan at the market every year.
Between buying trips to Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Turkey, France and Morocco, Patricia sees clients by appointment, consoles and consults with seasoned and aspiring importers, and does private appraisals and curatorial consultations.
In 2007, Patricia and her daughter established the Patricia Arscott La Farge Foundation for Folk Art, a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation dedicated to promoting appreciation of Latin American culture through its folk art.
The Foundation has become a platform for Patricia’s philanthropic interests (and home for her ethnographic arts library) as her business, Que Tenga Buena Mano, ripens from day to day.
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