Latino Art

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Latino art collection, which was established nearly forty years ago, represents a profound commitment to building a great national collection reflecting the rich contributions of Latinos to our country from the colonial period to the present. The museum, which began actively collecting Latino art in the 1980s, now displays artworks that range from colonial religious works and woven textiles to abstract expressionist paintings and contemporary installations. Artists featured in the collection reflect the diversity of Latino communities in the United States, including artists of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent, as well as other Latin American groups with deep roots in the United States. The museum has acquired paintings and sculptures by modern and contemporary artists such as ADÁL, Olga Albizu, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Melesio “Mel” Casas, Teresita Fernández, Carmen Herrera, Luis Jiménez, Vik Muniz, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Freddy Rodríguez, Rafael Soriano, and Patssi Valdez.

From 2000-2002, the museum toured Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, sixty-six rarely lent paintings, sculptures, and photographs to seven U.S. cities. Artworks ranged from 18th-century colonial Puerto Rico works by José Campeche and The Caban Group to contemporary works by Carlos Alfonzo, Carmen Lomas Garza, Ana Mendieta, Amalia Mesa-Bains, and Pepón Osorio. The 2013 exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is the culmination of a major collecting initiative, still underway at the museum, to build a significant collection of Latino art in the nation's capital.

2004
instant color prints
2010
solid graphite on panel
1967
oil on canvas
1974
acrylic on canvas
2002
suitcase, flat-screen LCD monitor, single-channel digital video, color, sound; 12:51 minutes
1960
acrylic on canvas
1986
acrylic on canvas
1984, revised 1991
mixed media installation including plywood, mirrors, fabric, framed photographs, found objects, dried flowers and glitter
1994
acrylic on canvas
late 18th century
oil on copper
1996
gelatin silver print
1976, printed 1977
chromogenic print
1988
functional metal and glass chandelier with plastic toys and figurines, glass crystals, and other objects
1972
color etching on paper