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.
Virgen of Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) by Miguel CabreraNational Museum of Mexican Art
The arrival of the Spanish (1519) in what is now Mexico not only resulted in the distribution of new ideas and technologies, but also an entire new understanding of the world that emerged from the encounter of three distinct cultural groups. Interracial families, primarily composed of the native Indigenous, enslaved Africans andSpanish conquistadors, were well documented in Colonial Mexico. The rapidly increasing Mestizo identity that spread as far north as the present day state of California was a prelude to the cultural negotiation, enculturation, and assimilation that would continue with Mexican descendants for another two hundred years in North America.
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