Virgen de los Caminos

  • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Virgen de los Caminos, 1994, embroidered and quilted cotton and silk with graphite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1996.77

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood created Virgen de los Caminos (Virgin of the Roads) to reflect the struggles of Mexicans looking for opportunity in the United States. In the center of the quilt, she embroidered the Virgin of Guadalupe, to whom the travelers pray as they make the dangerous crossing. The barbed wire symbolizes the literal border between the two countries that separates insiders from outsiders, while the flowers at the corners refer to Mexican festivals and holidays. The word caution and the image of a running family appear throughout the background, but are stitched in nearly invisible white thread. Underwood added these details to suggest that undocumented immigrants are invisible in the eyes of United States citizens. (Yorba, Arte Latino, Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)
I am a colonized indigenous artist that speaks with the authentic voice of the universal woman … el Hilo (Thread). With formal grace and beauty, I express the quiet rage that has permeated the indigenous culture of the Americas for over five hundred years.” Underwood, October 2004
Virgen de los Caminos
Not on view
5836 in. (147.391.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
embroidered and quilted cotton and silk with graphite
  • Figure – fragment – skeleton
  • State of being – evil – imprisonment
  • Religion – New Testament – Mary
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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