The U.S.’s largest museum of Latinx art is getting a new home and a Frida Kahlo exhibit, finalmente!
It comes as no shock that much art world caters to a specific kind of person, (white, affluent, male). Latinx artists and Guerrilla Girls alike have been using their voices to call for a more diverse set of representation in the art scene. One of these voices was Mexican-American artist Peter Rodriguez who in 1975, finally answered this plea and founded The Mexican Museum. The museum was San Francisco’s first museum dedicated specifically to Latin art, showcasing a variety of pieces ranging from pre-Columbian to contemporary art. And with more than 16,000 pieces, the collection is the United State’s largest collection of Mexican and Latinx art.
The museum is leveling up with its next incarnation; in July 2019, it will reopen as a 60,000-square-foot space that will be nestled in downtown San Franscico. The museum’s current Fort Mason location is too small to hold its entire collection, meaning many of the pieces are in storage. But with its new building, this won’t be the case. Andrew Kluger became the museum board’s chairman in 2011, helping the Mexican Museum secure a $30 million grant, allowing them to eventually move into the new space. With 39% of California’s population identifying as Latino, this museum is crucial, giving the Latinx community, education and a safe-space through art.
Kruger told The Guardian , "The new museum will allow us to educate second- and third-generation Chicano, Latino children about their heritage, which is quite important because many of them don’t know about it."
Although Kruger passed away at 90, his legacy will live on through the museum’s new location, which held its dedication ceremony last July.
The museum’s current temporary exhibit is called “Tramas Urbanas (Urban Patterns)” which features the work of Mexican visual artist Paloma Torres. Her work is of abstract sculptures and textiles that are inspired by ariel shots she took of Mexico City. The museum’s new location will feature 800 pieces of Mexican folk art, as well as pieces by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, among others.
The four story museum will be nestled between St Patrick’s church and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and one of its first exhibits will be on none other than the iconic Mexican painter Fridha Kahlo. Entitled “Fridha and I,” the children’s exhibition will be about the life of the artist herself.
Mark July of 2019 on your calendars, this is about to be azúcar!