Puerto Rican Workshop
1680 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Tel. (212) 831-4333
Fax (212) 831-6274
Marcos Dimas, Artistic Director
Hours open to the public
Office: Monday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Gallery: Tuesday–Saturday 12:00–6:00 p.m., Thursday 1:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Hours are subject to change
History of the Institution
Taller Boricua was established in 1970 in East Harlem as a non-profit arts organization. Taller Boricua/Puerto Rican Workshop Inc. has expanded into a multicultural institution by providing a variety of programs that stimulate the social, cultural, and economic development of the community. El Taller's workshops offer artists the opportunity to share ideas and inspiration with colleagues and to enhance productivity and collaboration with other non-profit organizations, schools, artists, public service providers, private corporations, and the community. El Taller Boricua/Puerto Rican Workshop has evolved into a highly respected community arts organization that continues to be a proactive resource for the promotion of the arts.
Scope and Content
Following the mission of El Taller Boricua, the artist files focus on contemporary art by artists of all ethnicities. El Taller Boricua accepts all unsolicited artist file materials. The majority of its archives and research materials document the history of El Taller Boricua and the Nuyorican artistic community.
Overall holdings of archives and research material: Twenty-five linear feet
Overall holdings of archives and research material on Latino art: Twenty linear feet
Inclusive dates of files: Pre-Columbian–present
Bulk dates: 1970s–present
Languages in which records are written:
Holdings: Primary Sources
Archives of institution's history and operation related to Latino art:
Eighteen linear feet
El Taller has lost an estimated 35% of its institutional archives due to improper storage and lack of space over the past decade.
Recorded interviews and performances:
Videocassettes of poetry readings at Julia's Jam (a monthly literary and musical event organized at El Taller since 2001); openings of exhibitions (including Rafael Tufiño's retrospective); cultural performances; educational workshops; and panel discussions. Videotaped writers include poets Tato Laviera, The Welfare Poets, Papoleto Meléndez, Sandra Estevez, and novelist Nicholasa Mohr. El Taller will soon acquire a copy of the entire Realidades TV series, the first television cultural program produced by Puerto Ricans for PBS from 1974 to 1978.
Slides and photographs:
El Taller has hundreds of photographs taken by Marcos Dimas and Tito Martín Pérez documenting the history of the institution and the Nuyorican art movement of the seventies. Julia's Jams are also documented in these photographs. In addition, there are slides documenting the work of the artists of El Taller (e.g. Marcos Dimas, Fernando Salicrup, Nitza Tufiño, and Manuel Neco Otero). Some artist files contain slides.
The only digitized images are those of the Thirtieth Anniversary of El Taller Portfolio. This portfolio contains a series of prints from Nuyorican artists that have worked with El Taller, including Rafael Tufiño, Marcos Dimas, Fernando Salicrup, Nitza Tufiño, Juan Sánchez, Diógenes Ballester, Gloria Rodríguez accompanied by poems by Mary Boncher, Mariposa, Pedro Pietri, Jesús Meléndez, Héctor Rivera, and Tania Ramírez.
Art objects and artifacts available for researhc:
Most of the collection is comprised of works on paper created by the artists that started or joined El Taller (Marcos Dimas, Fernando Salicrup, Rafael and Nitza Tufiño, and Jorge Soto). Drawing on the Puerto Rican tradition of using printmaking to advertise events, the artists of El Taller used silkscreen to print many invitations to art exhibitions, poetry readings, or community dances.
Exhibition catalogues published in-house that include work by Latino artists:
El Taller Boricua has published only a few catalogues. Most of the publications accompanying their shows are brochures and other educational materials. Some of the Nuyorican and Puerto Rican artists featured in these brochures are Marina Gutiérrez, Diógenes Ballester, Néstor Otero, and Miguel Trelles. Some Latino, non-Puerto Rican artists include Kukuli Velarde and Mary Valverde-Vélez.
Exhibition catalogues, books and periodicals related to Latino art:
Catalogues on Rafael Tufiño, the artists of El Taller, Carlos Osorio (with essays by Jorge Soto and Rafael Colon Morales), Jose Rosa, and Miguel Trelles, among others. During its tenure at the Heckscher Building (104 St. and Fifth Ave.), El Taller had a library with books on international visual arts as well as books on the civil rights movement, which served as an inspiration for the Nuyorican movement of the late 1960s. Most of these books perished due to a lack of adequate storage.
Vertical file materials related to Latino art: artist files, brochures, pamphlets, clippings:
Three linear feet
The artist files contain clippings, résumés and slides/photographs of the artists that have exhibited their work at El Taller. Three linear feet of El Taller's vertical file materials are stored onsite and accessible to visiting researchers. The remainder of El Taller's vertical files are stored offsite and are therefore inaccessible to the public and not included in this survey.
El Taller Boricua has no finding aids.
Materials are not catalogued and are dispersed throughout several buildings. El Taller does not currently employ anyone to assist researchers in finding materials. Consequently, El Taller does not frequently grant appointments to view the archives.
The archives are not currently organized in a systematic way or assembled in one place. Records remain uncatalogued and spread throughout the office of El Taller's Artistic Director, the basement of El Taller's annex, and private offsite storage. There is no space reserved for research.
Despite El Taller Boricua's loss of research material from over thirty-five years of operation, the administrative files, photographs, videos, and few publications that remain are of great value in understanding the interaction of the artistic and social movements of the 1960s and 1970s and the history of pioneering Puerto Rican art institutions in New York.
Artist Files are currently inaccessible to researchers.
Relations to other Latino and Latin American organizations:
Since its founding in 1970, El Taller has collaborated in the organization of exhibitions, public programs, and print portfolios with numerous Latino and Latin American organizations in the city, including The Association of Hispanic ARts (AHA!), The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Friends of Puerto Rico, El Museo del Barrio, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art.