Festival de Arte at Plaza Las Americas (1987)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
In 1984 and as an initiative of the League of Art Students of San Juan, a call was launched to explore the possibility of creating a Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico with the massive support of artists and art enthusiasts.
The Museum was registered in November of that same year as a Non-Profit Corporation. For its founders, beyond a collection, the museum should aspire to be a dynamic cultural vehicle that fosters a vigorous exchange of exhibitions and information with similar organizations in different parts of the world and that promotes the systematic analysis of aesthetic, historical and artistic, and social aspects present in contemporary art.
MAC's First Board of DirectorsMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
MAC's first board of directors:
Antonio Martorell, Rosita Hauessler, Maud Duquella, Dennis Simonpietri, Delta Picó, Noemí Ruiz, Pedro Quiles Mariani, and María E. Somoza.
Artists at the Festival de Arte in Plaza las Américas (1985)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
During the first four years, without permanent headquarters, the MAC carries out a series of activities in different public spaces in order to publicize the museum and raise funds. Innovative aesthetic proposals were presented to integrate different expressions of art.
Opúsculo, Festival de Arte in Plaza las Américas (1985)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
With the works exhibited in the first two art festivals in Plaza Las Américas, the museum's collection began forming, incorporating works by artists from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Caribbean from the 1960s to present.
Exhibition of the permanent collection (1988-11)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
The MAC's first permanent space was located in the Magdalena Sofía Barat Building at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Santurce. It was inaugurated on October 1988 with an exhibition of its collection and another show of works by Julio Rosado del Valle.
Two Figures (1967) by Julio Rosado del ValleMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Julio Rosado del Valle's work was selected for this inaugural exhibition as it was considered one of the most innovative expressions within contemporary Puerto Rican painting.
Signing of agreement between MAC and USC (1988)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Signing of the agreement that granted space to the MAC in the Magdalena Sofía Barat Building at the Universidad Sagrado Corazón.
Left to right: Lic. Dennis Simonpietri (Vicepresident, MAC), Dr. María Emilia Somoza (President, MAC), and Lic. José A. Morales (President, USC)
Exhibition of painting and scupture in the 70s, exhibition view (1989)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
From then on, the museum has directed its collection and exhibition practice towards displaying, studying and collecting artworks with new aesthetic visions.
Peformance 6 en 1 and installation by Melquiades Rosario (1989)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Proposals arose among artists to integrate various expressions of art and technology, including performance art.
Walkthrough with kids of the HeadStart program (1988)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
The MAC organized creative workshops, and retrospectives of known and emerging artists among the young generations of the time, as well as anthological exhibitions. Throughout the 1990s, the MAC received several AICA Awards in recognition of the exhibitions' excellence.
Creative workshop with Nelson Sambolín (1996)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Charcoal drawing workshop with artist Nelson Sambolín and students from Santiago Torres de las Piedras School.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico MAC, exterior aerial viewMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
In 2002, the MAC moved its operations to the facilities of the former Escuela Labra located at Parada 18, Santurce. Designed by the architect Adrian Finlayson and built in 1918, it was restored by architect Otto Reyes Casanova to be the permanent headquarters of the Museum.
Agreement asigning the Rafael M. De Labra building to the museum (2002-10)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Signing of the usufruct agreement for the Rafael M. Labra School building. From left to right: Dr. César Rey (Secy. of Education), John T. Belk, Dr. María M. Somoza, Sila María Calderón (Gov. of Puerto Rico), Ferdinand Mercado (Secy. of State), and José M. Izquierdo (Secy. of Transportation and Public Works)
Evidence EvidenceMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
To celebrate the opening of the new headquarters, two inaugural exhibitions were organized: Libertad y riesgo (2003) and El papel sin fronteras (2004), both featuring works from the Permanent Collection. Still in its formative stage, it was the most extensive and representative collection of the time gathered in Puerto Rico until then.
Empty Island (1987) by Arnaldo Roche RabellMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
These included paintings, sculptures, objects, videos, installations and works on paper. Its curators were: Jaime Romano, Oscar Mestey, Margarita Fernández Zavala and Marianne Ramírez Aponte.
Students of Perpetuo Socorro Academy (2003-09-16)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
The move to the new headquarters provided the opportunity to expand the institution's programmatic services and accelerate the growth of the collection. From then on, a new vision and work plan for the development of projects is established.
Live Workshop Elizabeth Robles: Fading Series Live Workshop Elizabeth Robles: Fading Series (2015-10-24/2016-03-10)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
In the new proposal, the MAC would have to be developed as a hybrid institution that, in addition to serving as an exhibition hall, would be a research center for contemporary culture.
Leopoldo Maler, Intoxications, exhibition view Leopoldo Maler, Intoxications, exhibition view (2009-06-25/2022-11-29)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Important collective and solo exhibitions were produced, such as Azul (2009) by Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Intoxications (2009) by Leopoldo Maler, Passions (2010) and Careos/Relevos: 25 years of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (2010), among others.
Catalog of the Puerto Rico X Intl. Cuenca Biennial delegation (2009)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
In 2009, the museum took part of the X International Cuenca Biennia as curator of the Puerto Rican delegation, which implied a recognition of the institution as a privileged observatory for the study of emerging aesthetics and its ability to encourage new visual practices.
The new vision pushes MAC’s function beyond being leading museum for contemporary art and public commissions in Puerto Rico - it also strives to contribute to a more equitable reality as a community convener, educational institution and promoter of social justice, activism, and community well-being.
The Yagrumo's Moment Exhibition View Third hall, first gallery (2021-04-17)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
This permeates through the creation of the programs like Taller Vivo (Live Workshop), a commissions program aimed at supporting ongoing projects with an emphasis on audience interaction.
Memorias Fotográficas de Tras Talleres (2022) by Windy M. Cosme RosarioMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Parallel to that, the program MAC en el Barrio has sought to broaden and deepen creative placemaking and civic cross-sector collaboration upon its creation in 2014 by Executive Director and Chief Curator Marianne Ramírez Aponte.
Parada 16 1/2 - Alto del cabro (2015-02-19) by MAC en el BarrioMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
This cultural equity program aims to critically interpret the historical, economic, political and social framework from which our neighborhoods emerge and to make visible the different social communities that coexist in them.
Documentation of the first edition of MAC en el Barrio, 2014 – Alto del Cabro
Hasta el cuello (2016) by Javier CardonaMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
MAC en el Barrio commissions artworks in and outside the Museum, organizes cultural events and offers educational workshops to the community, to bring them closer to the cultural and artistic experience.
Javier Cardona, Hasta el cuello (2016) - El Gandul
Entre tierra firme y mar (2019) by Nathan Budoff McKibbenMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
In 2017 it expanded its scope to Río Piedras, another neighborhood in the capital city. A year later it expanded its services to the municipality of Cataño. As of 2022, the program has served over 29 communities in 7 municipalities in the metropolitan area, south and west of Puerto Rico, and commissioned over 65 artworks and cultural projects.
Nathan Budoff McKibben, Entre tierra firme y mar (2019) - Cataño
The Yagrumo's Moment Exhibition View The Yagrumo's Moment Exhibition View (2021-04-17)Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
Recent and upcoming exhibitions give greater visibility to art by women and other gender nonconforming people, as well as the contributions of Afro Puerto Ricans, climate change and its impact on our natural environment, and regenerative artistic practices.
Workshop with kids at the MAC's courtyard (2022-06-29) by Sara Marina Dorna PesqueraMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico
The MAC is driven by the recognition that art and social justice go hand in hand. We strive to generate new scholarship and experiences, and a greater representation of the diversity of realities that characterize our time.
We look forward to welcoming you to the MAC!