Welcome to the website for the Survey of Archives of Latino and Latin American Art.
In July 2003 the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) sub-contracted The Museum of Modern Art Library to survey archives documenting Latino art in greater New York as part of METRO’s Documentary Heritage Project.
Conducted from September 2003 to June 2006 by The Museum of Modern Art Library, this project aimed to identify and inventory the archives of New York institutions that have supported and showcased Latino and Latin American artists, and to establish a network of repositories.
This website provides researchers with an overview of each archival collection surveyed and highlights their particular assets in order to facilitate access to materials and promote research on Latino art. An Archival Collections Guide has also been published, and is available at the institutions surveyed and as a PDF on this website (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).
We extend our gratitude to the numerous partners and individuals who contributed to the success of this project. Please take a moment to explore our Web site and to familiarize yourself with this invaluable tool to research some of the most outstanding archives of Latino and Latin American Art in New York.
Taína B. Caragol,
Latin American Bibliographer
About the survey
In July 2003 the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) sub-contracted The Museum of Modern Art Library to survey archives documenting Latino art in greater New York as part of METRO’s Documentary Heritage Project. The project was long overdue in this region, an epicenter of U.S. Latino and Latin American cultural production since the nineteenth century.
Through the decades artists from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America have come to New York attracted by the city’s freedom, dynamism, and cosmopolitan flair. New York has also been the cradle of its own U.S. Latino art movement. Inspired by the Civil Rights movement and decolonization struggles of the 1950s and 60s, New York-Puerto Rican or Nuyorican artists worked in conjunction with activists to make art a means for social change.
Nuyoricans, Latinos, and Latin Americans have been—and still are—instrumental in the establishment of a multicultural art scene in New York. They have not only participated as artists, but also as sociocultural agents. Through the establishment of museums and alternative spaces such as The Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, El Taller Boricua, and Exit Art, among many others, Latino and Latin American artists in New York have diversified and enriched the metropolitan art scene.
The intensity of their activity and breadth of their contributions have not guaranteed that the documentation of Latino and Latin American art is accessible or has even survived. This is due to numerous factors, among them the strict boundaries of the modern art canon. An equally important but more palpable reason has been the lack of archival practices in institutions whose resources serve only to maintain an active exhibition program.
MoMA Library’s Survey of Archives of Latino and Latin American Art aims to document the archives of New York Latino institutions and establish a network of repositories. Thanks to the support of METRO for three consecutive years, the survey team documented the archival and bibliographic holdings of thirty institutions that have showcased or promoted Latino and Latin American art, including community centers, galleries, museums, and academic research centers.
The scope and research resources of each surveyed archive are described in detail on this website and in a more concise manner on the Archival Collections Guide. Despite the limited lifespan of the survey project and uncertain future of some of the archives and institutions, we hope that this guide will provide researchers, scholars, curators and the interested public with a general idea of the documents they are likely to find at each repository. In the long term, we also hope that the guide and this website will promote individual and institutional responsibility in the preservation and accessibility of these archives.
Sharing and transparency are the key in this process. We are grateful for the model of the Archives of American Art and their Papers for Latino and Latin American Artists. At the same time, we note the emergence of a nationwide movement. Projects and visions in different parts of the country, under the auspices of the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA, and the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame University, and the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others, are parallel efforts which strengthen our goal of documenting the history of Latino and Latin American art in the United States.
The Survey of Latino and Latin American Art Archives was possible thanks to funding provided by the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) from monies it receives through the New York State Archives’ Documentary Heritage Program.
The Survey of Latino and Latin American Art Archives is the result of a collective effort among individuals at many institutions. Milan Hughston and Donald Woodward conceived the project. Taína Caragol, Project Coordinator, and intern Jessica Hankey worked closely to refine and implement the survey during its first year. Orlando Hernández Ying and Kimberly Randall provided invaluable assistance as the second and third-year interns to the project. Bill Saffady acted as the Consultant Archivist on the project, personally visiting some of the institutions surveyed. The Survey’s Advisory Committee consistently supported the project, offering guidance throughout its execution. The members of the Advisory Committee include Michelle Elligott, Liza Kirwin, Jay Levenson, Deborah Perotti, Edward Sullivan, Susana Torruella-Leval, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto. Allegra Burnette, Maggie Lederer D’Errico, K Mita, and Zhiyu Wang, of The Museum of Modern Art’s Information Technology and Digital Media Departments, worked closely with the survey team on the design of the website. Martin Fox proofread and edited its contents.
The Survey of Archives of Latino and Latin American Art is greatly indebted to all the archives surveyed during the project’s three years of existence. We would also like to thank all the institutions that due to limited staff and infrastructure preferred not to have their resources publicized on this website. Taína Caragol would also like to thank Marc Neumann for his moral support throughout the project.
Please direct any inquiries on the Survey of Archives of Latino and Latin American art to firstname.lastname@example.org
This website was last updated in January 2008.