Posted on October 20, 2009
After completing the first phase of extensive ongoing renovations, New York’s El Museo del Barrio has just reopened to the public in the first phase of their ongoing redevelopment. (It’s located at 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street; 212 831-7927.) The city’s only Latino Institution on Museum Mile (a group of Museums on Upper Fifth Avenue) is also marking its 40th anniversary, with a year-long display of exhibitions, performances and public programming. The Museum was founded in 1969 by artist/educator Raphael Montanez Ortiz and a group of parents, educators, activists and artists who wanted more focus on Latin artists by mainstream museums. It now houses more than 6,500 objects that span more than 800 years of Caribbean, Latin American and Latino art, including pre-Columbia Taino objects; contemporary prints and photographs; and documentary films and video. With Phase 1 complete, the Museum showcases its new Carmen Ana Unanue galleries that will host its permanent collection. The next phase will concentrate on the 104th Street lobby of the Heckscher Building as well as work in El Teatro. The Museum reopens with an exhibition titled “Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis,” which focuses on the Caribbean and Latin American artists who lived in New York pre-World War 1, and were instrumental in shaping the American avant-garde.