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For Immediate Release
May 26, 2009

For more information, contact:
Nina Stern
Nina Stern Public Relations




Both a Valuable Guidebook and a Celebration of Indigenous Culture, the Handsome Hardcover Book Explores Oaxaca’s Vibrant Artistic Traditions and the Families Who Continue Them Today

NEW YORK, NY, May 26, 2009 – The newly-revised hardcover book “Mexican Folk Art from Oaxacan Artist Families” celebrates the ancient cultural traditions carried on today in the villages of Oaxaca, in south-central Mexico – the state which boasts the 2nd highest number of indigenous inhabitants in the country. Written and photographed by
New York mother and daughter team Arden Aibel Rothstein and Anya Rothstein, the extraordinary guidebook for travelers doubles as a valuable exploration of one of the world’s richest thriving indigenous cultures. Published by Schiffer Books, and priced at $39.95 suggested retail, the new 260-page edition of “Mexican Folk Art from Oaxacan Artist Families” is available online at and

Readers are introduced to 100 artists from 50 families, the majority of whom live in 13 villages surrounding the city of Oaxaca which are easily accessible by car or bus. A warm and hospitable people, the artisans welcome visitors into their home workshops, and the book provides addresses and maps for travelers who wish to meet and see them at work. The new edition of the book brings their stories and works of art vividly to life with 700 color photographs, family trees, and descriptions of the types of art featured. For a look inside to see all the book has to offer, please visit:

Crafted from natural materials, the artisans’ works include pottery (terracotta, black, green-glazed, and multi-color-glazed); weaving (rugs, wall hangings, belts, blankets, etc.); alebrijes (fancifully painted wood carvings); baskets; embroidery; tinwork; jewelry; and a range of items themed to the annual “Day of the Dead” (Dia de los muertos) celebration. Incorporating striking blends of indigenous myths with ancient patterns from Mixtec and Zapotec ruins, many of these folk art traditions date back hundreds of years.

The new edition of “Mexican Folk Art from Oaxacan Artist Families” comes at a pivotal and challenging time for Oaxaca both economically and culturally. Now that travel advisories have been lifted, both authors’ fervent wish is that their book will inspire travelers to visit this welcoming, culturally rich region. If so, they’re sure to fall in love with the Oaxacan people and their centuries-old traditions, which continue to evolve with new and wondrous artistic expressions today.

What the Experts Say:

The central valleys of Oaxaca are wonderfully rich in popular art, as this book makes abundantly clear. The book's aim is admirable: it connects visitors directly with makers and creators. Addresses, maps and family trees are an invaluable asset. Lovers of folk art welcome this book, as do the many artists represented here.
Chloë Sayer, Author
Arts and Crafts of Mexico (1990),
Textiles from Mexico (2002), and
Fiesta: Days of the Dead and Other Mexican Festivals (2009)

Oaxaca has produced wonderful, world-renowned magical artisans. What was missing was a book to document this fantastic artwork. Well, now we have it, in this splendid book that introduces one to both the artists and their amazing artistic creations.
Carlos Tortolero, Founder & President
National Museum of Mexican Art

Folk Art is about cultural expressions created in communities by families and individuals. This book is an invaluable resource that opens the door to the lives and dreams of hundreds of artisans in the valley of Oaxaca.
Marta Turok, Anthropologist and Sub-Director
National Foundation for the Promotion of Crafts (FONART), Mexico City
About the Authors

The Rothstein mother-daughter team has collected and studied Oaxacan art during the course of many trips from their home in New York City. Arden Aibel Rothstein (a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in private practice, and a faculty member of the NYU Psychoanalytic Institute, NYU Medical Center) developed a love for Oaxaca and its indigenous folk culture when first she spent three summers in Oaxaca as a teenage student. She returned over thirty years later with her husband and daughters in 1998 and the love affair was rekindled. In the book’s acknowledgment, Arden pays homage to her own parents who first gave her the freedom to travel and explore indigenous cultures. Anya Rothstein, only 15 when she collaborated with her mother on the book’s first edition, is starting her senior year at Brown University in fall ’09.

Since the book’s first publication in 2002, Arden established an organization called Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art ( The organization’s mission is to preserve and promote Oaxaca's cherished heritage by helping to sustain local artists through what continues to be a very difficult period economically, and to encourage young artists to embrace and further develop their artistic traditions.