Archives of the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art at Hostos Community College Library and Archives
475 Grand Concourse
Shirley J. Hinds Allied Health & Science Building,
Room A308, third floor
Bronx, NY 10451
Tel. (718) 518-4220
William Casari, Archivist/Instructional Services Librarian
Hours open to the public
Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
History of the Institution
The Hostos Community College archives collects unpublished materials of permanent historical value including official records, correspondence, papers and publications generated by the administration, academic departments, faculty, special programs and student organizations since 1970. Through these and other special collections the archives promotes an awareness of the diverse ethnic and cultural history of this unique bilingual institution and the surrounding South Bronx community that inspired it. The archives, a unit of the Hostos Community College Library, also maintains a comprehensive collection of works published by and about Eugenio María de Hostos, namesake of the college, among other special collections.
In 1991, the year that The Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (MoCHA) closed, its archives were brought to Hostos Community College in an effort to save them from destruction and eventually to make them accessible to the general public.
MoCHA was established during the rise of multiculturalism in 1985, as an alternative museum in SoHo that showcased the art of Latin American and Latino artists under-represented in mainstream institutions. MoCHA operated under the umbrella of Friends of Puerto Rico, Inc. (FOPR), a non-profit organization founded and incorporated in 1956.
From 1974 to 1984, FOPR administered the Cayman Gallery, which in its lifetime was the only non-commercial Hispanic arts center in the mainstream of American Art. Despite its short existence, MoCHA helped launch the career of numerous artists who became successful in the nineties. In Fall 2006 the records will be made available, by written request only, for the first time since the museum ceased to exist in 1991.
Scope and Content
MoCHA's archival records comprise administrative files, exhibition files, numerous exhibition catalogues, artist files, and recordings of public programs organized by the museum. These sources reflect the focus of the institution in showcasing and promoting Latino and Latin American contemporary art.
Overall holdings of archives and research material:
164 linear feet
Overall holdings of archives and research material related to Latino art: 164 linear feet
Inclusive dates of files: not available
Bulk dates: not available
Languages in which records are written:
English and Spanish
Holdings: Primary Sources
Archives of institution's history and operation related to Latino art:
42.2 linear feet
Archives of manuscripts of other institutions related to Latino art:
Included in MoCHA's archives are the records of Friends of Puerto Rico and Cayman Gallery.
Recorded interviews and performances:
Approximately half of the videos are recorded lectures and the other half are recorded performances by artists. Some titles of videos include Inés Harechal's "De lo real a lo imaginario," Elody Tracisio's "Un concepto de identidad," and Susana Alkin's "Latino Images."
Slides and photographs:
Approximately 2,000 items
Slides and photographs are organized by artist and contained in the artist files, with the exception of one binder of slides organized alphabetically by artist. The selection of artist files includes artists of Latin American descent born in the United States, as well as Latin American artists who live in the United States but still keep a strong connection to their countries. Some of the artists included are Luis Cruz Azaceta, Rimer Cardillo, Carmen Herrera, Josely Carvalho, Gladys Triana, Núria Manso Camps, and Jorge Tacla.
Art objects and artifacts available for research:
Some of the museum's artwork is available, including paintings by Luis Cruz Azaceta and a collection of wooden santos in the Hostos Library and outside the president's office. Artwork is housed separately and remains a separate collection from the administrative files of MoCHA.
Exhibition catalogues published in-house that include work by Latino artists:
2.5 linear feet
These include Luis Cruz Azaceta: Tough Ride Around the City (March, 1986), Raul Acero (January 1987); Ricardo Estanislao Zulueta: Basement Therapy (November 1988); Gladys Triana: Movement-Fragmentation (January 1990); and The Decade Show: Frameworks of Identity in the 1980s, published in collaboration with The New Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem (May 1990).
Exhibition catalogues, books and periodicals related to Latino art:
Twenty-four linear feet
MoCHA and the Cayman Gallery Library include many volumes on Puerto Rican history and culture, including Miguel Melédez Muñoz's Obras Completas. These books are currently boxed, are not catalogued, and are not available for browsing or researcher consultation.
Vertical file materials related to Latino art: artist files, brochures, pamphlets, clippings:
Sixty-four linear feet
There are several sets of artist files organized with a color-coded system in orange, yellow, green, and blue folders. The green folders are of artists that were not showcased at MoCHA. Some of the green folders contain a copy of a letter from the museum acknowledging receipt of materials. Presumably the orange, yellow, and blue files were created for artists that were showcased by the museum.
There is a card catalogue of approximately 2,000 cards dedicated primarily to artist file content. No additional finding aids, inventory lists, or catalogs are available at this time.
As of August 2006 the records are being inventoried and will be available to researchers during fall 2006 by written request only. Collections are housed within the Hostos Library and Archives and minimal stabilization and re-housing of the collection has begun. Some materials may not be available until they can be inventoried. As a academic library, Hostos Community College Library has the infrastructure to welcome researchers.
Financial and legal files are restricted and are not available for researchers. Collection available via written request only.
The MoCHA Collection documents an important time period for Latino and Latin American Art. Exhibited artists include many notable artists who went on to become very well known. While the collection is a priority for the archives funds are not available for its full processing at this time.