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MoMA

EN FOCO

Contact Information

En Foco
1738 Hone Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
(718) 931-9311
http://www.enfoco.org

Contact
Marisol Díaz, Program Director
info@enfoco.org

Hours open to the public
Monday–Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
The collection can be viewed by appointment only.

History of the Institution

Founded in 1974 by three New York Puerto Rican photographers—Charles Biasiny-Rivera, Phil Dante, and Roger Cabán—En Foco's mission is to promote and exhibit work by photographers of color (e.g. Latinos, African Americans, and Asians) in the United States.

Over their thirty-year history, this collective of photographers and their institution have been seminal in establishing Latino visual identity in photography. En Foco works toward the greater visibility and recognition of the work of other photographers of color in the United States.

Scope and Content

The archives of En Foco concern photographers of color (e.g. Latinos, Asians, and African American) in the United States.

The vast majority of the archival material documents Puerto Rican and Latin American photographers, although some Asian and African American photographers are also documented. The main source of archival information about photographers is the slide registry and the objects of the permanent collection. The vertical file with clippings regarding En Foco is a valuable source on the institution's history and development.

Overall holdings of archives and research material: Ninety linear feet
Overall holdings of archives and research material related to Latino art: Ninety linear feet

Inclusive dates of files: 1970–present
Bulk dates of Latino/Hispanic Archive: 1970–present

Languages in which records are written:
English, Spanish

Holdings: Primary Sources

Archives of institution's history and operation related to Latino art:
Seventy linear feet
These archives are only available upon request. See Restrictions.

Newsletters and magazines published in-house:
En Foco published a newsletter titled Critical Mass from 1986 to 1997. After that year, the newsletter was incorporated into Nueva Luz, En Foco's quarterly photographic journal. This bilingual journal (Spanish and English) has been published since 1984.

Recorded interviews and performances:
Undetermined
En Foco holds video recordings of workshops in the 1970s and 1980s, when En Foco had an exchange program and brought Latino and Latin American photographers to lecture and give workshops at the University of Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico.

Slides and photographs:
4,450 items
The slide registry provides a reference to the work of approximately 200 artists. Each one has a file with twenty to forty slides, totaling approximately 3,000 slides. The slide registry is in the process to be uploaded on the En Foco website.

The permanent collection holds over 430 photographs. Some Latino photographers in the permanent collection include Adál, Laura Aguilar, Pablo Cambo, Evelyn Collazo, Papo Colo, Andre Cypriano, Pablo Delano, and Juan Sánchez. En Foco has also a Print Collector's Program in which photographers donate a determined number of prints to sell for the benefit of En Foco. Some photographers who participate in that program include Adál, Juan Sánchez, Gerald Cyrus, Valdir Cruz, Frank Gimpaya, Dawoud Bey, and others.

Art objects and artifacts available for research:
450 items
The permanent collection holds over 430 photographs. Please refer to slides and photographs section above.

Exhibition catalogues published in-house that include work by Latino artists:
Nine items
Some titles of catalogues by En Foco include La Familia (1979), Vapors (1980), The Return: Four Photographers from Puerto Rico (1985), A Decade of En Foco (1986), Latina (1988), and Island Journey: An Exhibition of Puerto Rican Photography (1995).

Secondary Sources

Exhibition catalogues, books, and periodicals related to Latino art:
Ten linear feet
En Foco collects publications on artists represented in their collection and general books on Latino art and artists, for example: Mango Mambo by Adál, México Profundo by Miguel Garder, and Espantapájaros del Sur by Polibio Díaz.

Vertical file materials related to Latino art: artist files, brochures, pamphlets, clippings:
Ten linear feet
This material includes files with small catalogues on artists represented in the collection and clippings about En Foco.

Finding Aids

En Foco has a database of the organization's permanent collection of photographs.

Accessibility

Materials at En Foco are accessible upon request, depending on the seriousness of purpose. The researcher must write a letter establishing the purpose of his or her research in order to obtain access.

Restrictions

Some materials at En Foco are confidential and the institution reserves the right to restrict access to any of its holdings. Please refer to the Accessibility section.

General Assessment

En Foco has important institutional archives that document the history of the first Puerto Rican photography group in New York, and the developments of a Puerto Rican and Latino photographic aesthetic. The slide registry of En Foco is also a valuable source that is constantly updated with information on emerging Latino photographers. Moreover, their permanent collection is useful for researchers who want to see and study the work of photographers like Adál, Graciela Iturbide, and André Cypriano, among many others.

Relations to other Latino and Latin American organizations:

En Foco has worked in collaboration with the Bronx Council of the Arts, the Association of Hispanic Arts, the Bronx Museum for the Arts, Hostos Community College, and Lehman College Art Gallery.