Museum philosophy

The Atlanta International Museum was incorporated on 14 February 1989 to celebrate the quality of craftsmanship of the world's cultures through ethnographic, folk art, and design exhibits. The emphasis of the founders, Jon Eric Riis and Richard Mafong, was "to promote a better appreciation and understanding of the peoples of the world through examination of a society's art and design, both past and present, and the influences upon it over time."

The Museum's continuing objectives included "presenting a diverse and educational exhibit schedule, supported by lecturers and practicing craftspeople; seeking opportunities for exchange of traveling exhibits; operating and expanding our facilities; maintaining an easily accessible location for the entire community; providing opportunities for exchange of ideas; acting as a connector to ethnic communities in Atlanta and the Southeast; pursuing publicity on a national and an international level; building a visual bank of slides, negatives and print; [and] establishing a full time staff under the Executive Director and a permanent collection consistent with the Museum's aims." As the Museum enters its thirteenth year, the Museum's purpose has remained largely unchanged.

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