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Press Room

6/29/01

Smithsonian American Art Museum Announces .First Lady Laura Bush as Honorary Patron of "Arte Latino"

Contact: Laura Baptiste baptistel[at]si.edu
or Lynn Gutter gutterl[at]si.edu
Tel: (202) 275-1594
American Art's Web site: AmericanArt.si.edu
.Recorded information: (202) 633-8998


The Smithsonian American Art Museum today (June 29) announced that First Lady Laura Bush will serve as honorary patron of the traveling exhibition "Arte Latino: Treasures .from the Smithsonian American Art Museum."

"Arte Latino" highlights 300 years of Latino art from across the United States. These 66 paintings, sculptures and photographs represent many different cultural traditions developed by Latino artists in America.

"We are honored to have the support of Mrs. Bush in celebrating the artistic excellence and innovation of this diverse community," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director. "These artists present human stories that are at once culturally specific, but also universal."

"Arte Latino" is one of eight exhibitions in "Treasures to Go," from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, touring the nation through 2002. The Principal Financial Group® is a proud partner in presenting these treasures to the American people. "Treasures to Go," launched in January 2000, is the most extensive art tour ever. Its goal is to stimulate interest in American art among new audiences as well as art lovers by touring the nation's foremost American art collection to communities across the country.

Many of the artists in "Arte Latino" explore personal identity through cultural heritage. They include both U.S.-born and immigrant artists, among them Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans and Chicanos, Cuban-Americans and Latin Americans who have created art throughout the United States.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum began actively collecting Latino art about a decade ago. The current exhibition is a sampling of these rich traditions—not .a comprehensive survey of them—selected from almost 500 Latino artworks now in the museum's collection.

"Arte Latino" has already appeared at the El Paso Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas and the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, Fla. Upcoming venues include the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago (Sept. 8–Nov. 11, 2001), The Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami (Dec. 7, 2001–Jan. 27, 2002), the Palm Springs Desert Museum in Palm Springs, Calif. (Feb. 20–April 28, 2002), the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. (June 28–Sept. 22, 2002) and the Oakland Museum of California in Oakland, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2002–Jan. 26, 2003).

More information and full itineraries for "Treasures to Go" can be found on the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Web site at AmericanArt.si.edu.

For information about the Principal Financial Group, contact Terri Shell, media relations consultant at (515) 283-8858.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings with approximately 39,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs, folk art and contemporary crafts.

While the three-year renovation of the museum's main building—the Old Patent Office—continues, American Art offers a full program of exhibitions at its Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W.). For information about Renwick Gallery activities, call (202) 357-2700. Please visit the museum's award-winning Web site at AmericanArt.si.edu.

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