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Origin Stories of Latin American and Latino Art, Shared through a Newly Expanded Online Archive April 7, 2020


The MFAH and its research institute, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), have launched the redesigned and enhanced website and database for the Documents of Latin American and Latino Art Digital Archive.

The archive offers access, free of charge, to more than 8,000 primary source materials that are the essential building blocks for the study and understanding of these major fields of 20th- and 21st-century art.

Full, Free Access
The first—and still the only—digital humanities initiative within Latin American and Latino art, the archive offers full access to letters, manifestos, newspaper and journal articles, exhibition reviews, and other key theoretical, critical, and art-historical texts. This wealth of materials comprises writings by artists, critics, and curators from Mexico; Central and South America; the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; and Latino communities in the United States.

Invaluable Insight
The digital archive establishes a comparative history of art in this region, presenting invaluable evidence about how artists, writers, and intellectuals sought to define or challenge notions of national art; how art movements emerged in response to changing local political situations; and how Latin American and Latinx artists contributed major theoretical insights to early stages of avant-garde movements and initiated novel tendencies.

Selected Highlights
Among the documents is the most significant cache of materials related to Brazilian Constructive painting and sculpture from the collection of Adolpho Leirner. That collection was acquired by the MFAH in 2007 and is featured on the Google Arts & Culture platform.

Additional highlights include a 1944 essay by Rhod Rothfuss from Arturo magazine; the collective statement Tucumán Arde (Tucumán Is Burning) from 1968; the 1970 brochure “Con Safo”; the 1977 essay “Conditions for Producing Chicana Art” by Sybil Venegas in ChismeArte; and the 1980 essay “Some thoughts concerning the exhibit of Hispanic-American Art in Chicago” by Victor A. Sorell.

Explore the ICAA Documents of Latin American and Latino Art Digital Archive