El Museo’s Permanent Collection

El Museo’s permanent collection is comprised of works from local Generational Peoples to the Mexican Masters series and other objects and images from the entire North-South corridor extending from the present-day United States throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

The founding peoples and associates in the initial programs, events and exhibits of El Museo have given of their own work to create a physical presence for El Museo and to share their pieces with the public.

Catalina Delgado Trunk (1945, México), presently working in Albuquerque, has presented and taught the history and application of papel picado in talleres during Día de Muertos in early November. From its beginnings in Aztec imagery on bark from mulberry and fig, to the papel amatl or amate, Trunk has shared its original forms and today’s papel picado, which is mainly done on tissue paper layers. Participants create their own pieces which have also been exhibited at El Museo, some available for purchase and others taken by the person who created them.

Photographs by Oscar Lozoya (1954, Chihuahua, México), also active in Albuquerque, focused on honoring people whose home place was in the streets and who sat in his studio to be photographed. Lozoya is also known for his shots of Día de Muertos staging with individual and group pictures replete in faces painted as Muertos a la Posada.

Pieces by members of the initial Contemporary Hispanic Market also constitute the election of El Museo as steward and embodiment of those active in its founding.

In his Akwesasne Mohawk Nation birth place, Karoniaktatie Alex Jacobs (1953, Akwesasne Mohawk Nation) expressed his world in collage with the fabric remnants of the quilts made by his Mother and Grandmother. This is translated in our collection as a paper quilt speaking to strength, appropriation, and chronologies.

Original limited-edition etchings by Williams Carmona (1967, La Habana, Cuba, active in Puerto Rico) received a comment in his early career by a viewer as recalling Dalí to which he is said to have responded, “We are Caribeño. We have been here a very long time.”

La Sobadora, an acrylic portrait painted by Pola López Jaramillo (1954, Las Vegas, New Mexico) after a photograph taken by Miguel Gandert (1956, Española, New Mexico) contemplates that approach to health from knowledge and application of what was available here and of what was recalled from Iberia.  For a healing person, the words La Sobadora and El Sobador is used as Curandera and Curandero are now liberally exercised by some. Sobar is to massage and to knead as clay, dough and the body. La Sobadora and El Sobador knead the body to heal, para curar o sanar, along with the inclusion of yerbas, wild plants, trementina, sap, ventosas, as some of the props in the process which is still in use. Ventosa is interpreted as cupping. Votive size candles or candle ends are set on the areas necessary and lit with an inverted glass placed over each as a type of suction cup. In the steps, this serves for symptoms from estar torcido, to empache and brujería. To witness a person lying still in a room with candle flames along the meridians of the body is powerful visually and ultimately for their whole well-being.

José Luis Cuevas (1934, D.F., now CDMX, México) was born and raised in the top floor of his Grandfather’s pencil and paper factory in El Centro del Distrito Federal, México, which would lend to a fascination with similar materials all his life. Suffering from rheumatic fever as a child, he was unable to continue in school and was told he would not live. He taught himself and had tutors. He soon moved in to a studio and paid the rent by making baskets and selling them and by teaching art and art history. He wished to do what he loved which was to draw and etch and print, which he did. He accompanied a brother who was in the employ of a mental institution and later drew and etched his view of that universe. El Museo has a large range of images by Cuevas in limited edition lithography.

Gilberto Guzmán (1932, East LA) has gifted a powerful portrait of an Aboriginal woman in acrylic. He is known locally for his engagement in the public art mural discipline.

Within the Mexican Masters Suite El Museo retains works by José Luis Cuevas, (1934, D.F., now CDMX, México), David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896, Chihuahua, México), and Francisco Zúñiga (1912, San José, Costa Rica, active in México). The contribution of the Mexican Masters Suite also includes limited-edition etchings by Roberto Matta (1911, Santiago, Chile) and limited-edition lithographs by Leonora Carrington (1917, Lancashire, England, active in México)

Crow Soup, by Leonora Carrington, was created as she developed her soul shadow corridor in México beginning in the 1930s then again continuing there until her journey at the age of 94, as did many who transferred their lives to México, for political, metaphysical, philosophical, intellectual and other adventure. It is said she suffered from childhood being ostracized and rejected by part of her family and by the society in the England of her birth. She was institutionalized, called a witch and castigated with medication and abuse for her independence perhaps in the strata of female and elite requirement. Carrington worked in what was called Surrealism along with Remedios Varos Uranga of Spain and Kati Horna, born Katalin Deutsch in Budapest. It is stated Carrington directed her focus via form and palette, Varos Uranga with line and structure and Horna by surrealist photography and journalism. Surrealism is judged to have degraded women in that ongoing gender lack of equality. These women took it to its alleged liberty synchronizing with alchemy to radical thought and activation of paradox.

The Permanent Collection lends Voice to our Peoples and Story along the North-South Corridor and to each our Aboriginal and Iberian ancestry. The images incorporate in sculpture, painting, graphics and photography our history, approach and accent. They act as a biography of a period and of a Peoples here for thousands of years on the Aboriginal lineage and hundreds on the Iberian.

We invite you to browse selections from the permanent collection online.