A common Mexican trait on either side of the U.S.–Mexico border is the passionate interest in Mexicanidad (Mexicanness) and what comprises Mexican identity. Perhaps this obsession to understand the concept of Mexicanidad comes from nearly five centuries of mestizaje – the interracial and cultural mixing that first occurred in Mesoamerica among Native Indigenous groups, European Spanish and enslaved Africans during the 1520s. By the 18th century, Mexican identity had developed. Mestizaje was the process that constructed it. The museum’s permanent collection showcases the dynamic and distinct Mexican stories in North America, and sheds light on why Mexican identity cannot be regarded as singular; its vast diversity defies any notion of one linear history. - Nuestras Historias destaca la colección permanente del museo, la cual expone las historias dinámicas y diversas de la identidad mexicana en Norteamérica. La exhibición muestra la identidad cultural como algo que evoluciona continuamente a través del tiempo, de regiones y de comunidades, en vez de señalarla como una entidad estática e inmutable, exhibiendo para esto, artefactos mesoamericanos y coloniales, arte moderno mexicano, arte popular, y arte contemporáneo de los dos lados de la frontera EE.UU-México. La gran diversidad de identidades mexicanas mostradas en estas obras desafía la noción de una sola historia lineal e identidad única.
Regional identity and national politics play a profound role in the lives of millions of Mexican descendants living in the U.S. Their communities have reflected regional ways of life, socio-economic circumstances and a struggle for civil rights that dates to the late 1840s. Like all cultural identities, Mexican identities change as new realities emerge. The diversity of Mexican descendants identify themselves as Mexican-American, Tejano, Hispano, Chicano, immigrant, first-generation, and within the larger population of Latin American descendants, Latino.Many in the U.S. identify themselves with more than one of these terms.In the U.S., artists of Mexican descent often grew up with a bilingual, bicultural identity. Scenes and images from life on both sides of the border were frequently utilized by these artists to respond to and express this bicultural experience.
NMMA remains true to our founding mission: To showcase the beauty and richness of Mexican culture by sponsoring events and presenting exhibitions that exemplify the majestic variety of visual and performing arts in the Mexican culture; to develop, conserve and preserve a significant permanent collection of Mexican art; to encourage the professional development of Mexican artists; and, to offer arts-education programs.
Cesáreo Moreno - Visual Arts Director / Chief Curator
Exhibition Information Coordinator:
Zarai Zaragoza - Visual Arts Intern, Summer 2017
Raquel Aguiñaga-Martinez - Visual Arts Associate Director / Registrar
Barbara Engelskirchen - Chief Development Officer
Rebecca D. Meyers - Permanent Collection Curator
Dolores Mercado - Associate Curator
Kathleen Culbert-Aguilar - Photographer
Michael Tropea - Photographer
Galeria de Arte Mexicano
Tom Van Eynde