The Memory of the Landscape

A father inculcates in his little boy the love for the land. Years later, the son returns to the same locations looking for the memories of the landscape, and feels inspired.

Paisaje río Bayamón/Bayamon River Landscape ca. 1940, María Cadilla. Oil on cardboard. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Paseando en la Navidad by Jose RuizMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

Family values

The Lourdes and Francisco Arriví Collection is the result of the passion that the Puerto Rican playwright, poet, and essayist Francisco Arriví Alegría (1915–2007) instilled in his son, Francisco Arriví Cros, for the beauty of the  landscape and for the values and traditions of his native island. 

Paseando en la Navidad/Taking a Walk at Christmas (1969), José Ruiz. Oil on masonite. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Sin Título, Rafael Tufino, From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
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El entierrito, Francisco Sein, From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
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Sin título (Bahia San Juan), Wichi Torres, From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
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Playa de Arroyo, Miguel Pou, From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
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Paisaje campestre #2 by Gil De LeonMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

Island of contrasts

Between 1953 and 1958, Arriví Alegría made frequent trips with his family and friends all across the island. On these journeys, he saw the socioeconomic contrasts in the lives of Puerto Ricans of the time, which were reflected in their plays and poems. 
  

Paisaje campestre/Country Landscape, 1923, Gonzalo Gil de León. Oil on canvas. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Francisco Arrivi Cross and his wife LourdesMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

A collection is born

 Beginning in the 1980s, businessman Arriví Cros and his wife, María de Lourdes Silva Reyes, began to purchase paintings of landscapes and houses in remembrance of those places the son had visited with his father. 

The Lourdes and Francisco Arriví Collection is comprised of sixty-one works. 

Francisco Arriví Cross and his wife María de Lourdes Silva Reyes at their living room, filled with their Puerto Rican landscape collection.

Casa de campo by Tomas Enrique BlancoMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

A View Through the Years

Two of them belong to the last decades of the nineteenth century; a significant group of twenty-two are from the first half of the twentieth century; and nineteen others are early works by artists who were leading lights in the “50s Generation” in Puerto Rico. 

The remaining works, sixteen in total, are from the second half of the twentieth century, and two are from the early twenty-first.

Casa de campo/Country house, 1916, Enrique Tomás Blanco Géigel. Pencil and ink on canvas. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Camino del barrio Guaraguao by Manuel JordanMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

One of the least-known periods

The first two groups of paintings and drawings in the Collection offer us a broad panorama of one of the least-known and least-studied periods of Puerto Rican art: the late nineteenth century and the first four decades of the twentieth. 

These were years characterized by political uncertainty and cultural changes due to the new U.S. administration, which came as a result of the Spanish American War in 1898. 

Camino del barrio Guaraguao/Road in Barrio Guaraguao, 1885, Manuel Jordán. Oil on wood panel. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Paisaje de Manati (1929) by Domingo HernandezMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

An ode to Puerto Rican Culture

The principal feature of the visual arts in this period, as can be seen in the Lourdes and Francisco Arriví Collection, was the desire on the part of artists to capture the light, color, and features of the local landscape, their intention being to highlight and  reaffirm the values of the Puerto Rican culture. 

Paisaje de Manatí/Manatí Landscape, 1929, Domingo Hernández. Oil on canvas and cardboard. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Entrada a Arecibo (1914) by Jose MaldonadoMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

One of the most surprising works in the Arriví Collection

Due to its rarity and beautiful facture, is the splendid landscape of vivid colors and minute details, Entrada a Arecibo (Entrance to Arecibo, 1912), by José Maldonado. Maldonado’s landscape with houses portrays the southern part of the municipality of Arecibo. At the left rear, we can see the mountains of the town of Utuado and at the right, possibly, the former sugar central Los Caños. 

UntitledMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

Local and realistic

Thus, they followed the lead of Francisco Oller, who after having studied academic painting in Europe and experimenting alongside the young Impressionists, decided on his return to Puerto Rico to do painting of a realistic nature and with local subject matter.  

A visitor at the MAPR looks at Camino con bohíos/Road with thatched huts, 1890, Francisco Oller y Cestero. Base and Cover of Showcase. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Vista desde mi casa (1950) by Julio Rosado del ValleMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

A Generation of New Landscapes

Artists who began to paint in the late 1940's and 1950's had the graphics workshops of DIVEDCO and the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture as training but also got to study at the School of Plastic Arts created in 1955 and travel abroad to study in European and American schools.

Casas/Houses, 1945, Julio Rosado del Valle. Oil on canvas. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Fanguito by Margot FerraMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

From Russia with... surprising "collagist" construction

As an example of the artists from abroad in the second half of the 20th Century in Puerto Rico, there was Margot Ferra, from Latvia, Russia. She did collages generally with cast-off materials and technical mastery, receiving the recognition of her peers and critics of the time.

Fanguito, 1965, Margot Ferra. Oil and collage on masonite. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Flamboyan (1990) by Felix Bonilla BaezMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico

Vivid panorama

Today, that collection is part of the holdings of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico thanks to the generous donation of Olga and Joaquín Viso. The Lourdes and Francisco Arriví Collection is comprised of sixty-one works. 

Flamboyán/Flame tree 1968, Félix Rodríguez Báez. Oil on canvas. From the collection of: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

Credits: Story

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f6gdjhq0e9s4vjd/ARRIVI_revisado_final_1.mp4?dl=0
Watch a full interview with late collector Francisco Arriví Cros, his wife María de Lourdes Silva Reyes and their friends, Olga and Joaquín Viso on how this collection was created and how it ended up at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvBnjr6Y64M

Watch an interview with late collector Francisco Arriví Cros and his wife María de Lourdes Silva Reyes in the moment they got to see a preview of the exhibition at MAPR.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBGtCTNOUyg

Watch an interview with Juan Carlos López Quintero, MAPR's curator on The Memory of the Landscape


The Memory of the Landscape
The Lourdes and Francisco Arriví Collection,
Donated by Olga and Joaquín Viso

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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