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Las Galerías are Open | 11am – 5pm
Las Galerías are Open | 11am – 5pm
Las Galerías are Open | 11am – 5pm
Las Galerías are Open | 11am – 5pm
Hiram Maristany - El Museo del Barrio

History and Mission


The mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States. Through its extensive collections, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals and special events, El Museo educates its diverse public in the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history. By introducing young people to this cultural heritage, El Museo is creating the next generation of museum-goers, while satisfying the growing interest in Caribbean and Latin American art of a broad national and international audience.


El Museo del Barrio’s purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the art and artifacts of Caribbean and Latin American cultures for posterity.

To enhance the sense of identity, self-esteem and self-knowledge of the Caribbean and Latin American peoples by educating them in their artistic heritage and bringing art and artists into their communities.

To provide an educational forum that promotes an appreciation and understanding of Caribbean and Latin American art and culture and its rich contribution to North America.

To offer Caribbean and Latin American artists greater access to institutional support in the national and international art world. 

To convert young people of Caribbean and Latin American descent into the next generation of museum-goers and stakeholders in the institution created for them.

To fulfill our special responsibility as a center of learning and training ground for the growing numbers of artists, educators, art historians, and museum professionals interested in Caribbean and Latin American art.

This mission reaffirms the vision of Raphael Montañez Ortiz, who founded El Museo del Barrio in 1969, and of the Puerto Rican educators, artists, and community activists who worked in support of this goal.


El Museo was founded in 1969 by artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz and a coalition of Puerto Rican parents, educators, artists, and activists who noted that mainstream museums largely ignored Latino artists. Since its inception, El Museo has been committed to celebrating and promoting Latino culture, thus becoming a cornerstone of El Barrio, and a valuable resource for New York City. El Museo’s varied permanent collection of over 8,500 objects, spans more than 800 years of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino art, includes pre-Columbian Taíno to modern and contemporary drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, as well as textiles, prints, photography, documentary films, and video.


Expanding on previous research, this timeline traces notable moments, programs, and exhibitions that have taken place at El Museo del Barrio. We acknowledge that this timeline reflects just a partial view of the people and events hat have shaped the institution’s history and intend this presentation to be a next step in making the rich history and documentation of El Museo del Barrio more accessible to the public. All images courtesy of El Museo del Barrio, unless otherwise noted.



  • SPRING: Raphael Montañez Ortiz, artist and educator, is appointed by Martin W. Frey, Superintendent of NYC Board of Education’s School District 4, to create curriculum on Puerto Rican history, culture, folklore, and art. Montañez Ortiz reconceives the project as a community museum, founding El Museo del Barrio and serving as its first director (through Spring 1971)
  • SUMMER: Montañez Ortiz travels to Puerto Rico with Frey, to conduct research on Puerto Rican culture and make institutional contacts with museum directors and anthropologists
  • FALL: El Museo del Barrio begins operations in a classroom at PS 125 (425 West 123rd Street), the location of the office of District 4
Event image in 1969

  • No exhibitions hosted this year.



  • SPRING: The museum relocates to PS 206 (508 East 120th Street), following a citywide reorganization of school districts
Event image in 1970

  • The Art of Needlework
  • Puerto Rican Painting and Graphics


  • JAN: “El Museo del Barrio” is filed as a nonprofit corporation with Raphael Montañez Ortiz, José García and Jerald Ordover listed as directors
  • SPRING: Community activists from School District 4 and Community Board 11 hold hearings on the future of El Museo del Barrio; Montañez Ortiz and Marta Moreno Vega present before the public. Moreno Vega is selected as the second Director of the museum (through March 1975)
  • MAY: The magazine Art in America publishes the essay Culture and the people by Montañez Ortiz
  • SPRING: El Museo del Barrio relocates to 206 East 116th Street and later inaugurates its new space with the exhibition Homage to Our Painters
  • SEPT 22: “Amigos del Museo del Barrio” is filed as a nonprofit corporation with Moreno Vega, Eugene Calderón, Hilda Arroyo and Hiram Maristany listed as directors
  • FALL: School groups from across New York City visit the museum, participating in workshops and exhibitions
  • NOV: The museum receives its first donation to the Permanent Collection, a graphic art portfolio from the Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño, donated by Florencio García Cisneros
  • DEC: First reference to Three King’s Day celebration and programming at the museum is published in The New York Times
Event image in 1971

  • Boricua – aquí y alla
    Presented at the American Museum of Natural History in The Corner Gallery
  • Graphics
  • El arte de la aguja
  • Homage to Our Painters
  • What Puerto Rico Means to Me
  • Taíno
  • Graphic Portfolio of El Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño
  • Three Magi


  • The museum leases its fourth location at 1945 Third Avenue, later expanding at the same site
  • The museum launches its “Mobile Unit,” a van with exhibitions that travels to various locations to serve students, community festivals, and other groups throughout New York City
  • JUN: Moreno Vega publishes “The Community Museum Concept,” in the museum’s bilingual education quarterly, Quimbamba
  • WINTER: The museum hosts a Christmas Celebration, including visits with the Three Kings
Event image in 1972

  • Handcrafts/Artesanias
  • Arte de la aguja
  • Un saborcito de los talleres
  • El taller rodante
  • Christmas Celebration

Exhibition poster in 1972


  • El Museo del Barrio begins to use logo depicting the Taíno fertility goddess Atabey
  • APR: The museum inaugurates its new location at 1945 Third Avenue with the exhibition The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico: Pre-Columbian to the Present, the first historical survey of Puerto Rican art, organized in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it later travels in the summer
  • JUL: Proposed cuts in state urban education funds threaten the museum’s financial support from the New York City Department of Education. The staff elects to work without pay
  • DEC: Moreno Vega publishes the museum’s first annual report, which details the two names “El Museo del Barrio” and “Amigos del Museo del Barrio” (Quimbamba, December 1973)
Event image in 1973

  • Graphic Art of Puerto Rico
  • The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico: Pre-Columbian to the Present
    Collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art | (View exhibition catalog)
  • La historia del Cartel Puertorriqueño 
  • Feliz Navidad/Christmas

Exhibition poster in 1973


  • JUN: El Museo del Barrio presents the groundbreaking exhibition, Aspectos de la esclavitud en Puerto Rico, documenting slavery and Afro-Puerto Rican heritage, that includes contemporary art, photographs, and original African artifacts on loan from the American Museum of Natural History
Event image in 1974

  • La Herencia de Nuestros Niños
  • Aspectos de la esclavitud en Puerto Rico
  • Art as Survival
    Collaboration with the Puerto Rican Studies Department, Livingston College, Rutgers University | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Festival de Bomba y Plena

Exhibition poster in 1974


  • MAR: The museum acquires the lease of a firehouse located at 175 East 104th Street. With help from Teatro 4 and other volunteers, the building is made useable
  • APR: Hiram Maristany serves as Acting Director (through July 1977)
  • The museum is the recipient of the International Benin Award for its efforts and contributions to the “rising of consciousness” among the local and larger community of Black people throughout the world
Event image in 1975

  • “Siete” 7
  • Expresiones del alma/ Expressions of the Soul
  • Two Person Exhibition
  • Carlos Osorio
  • Photography Exhibition | (View exhibition catalog)
  • 4th Annual Anniversary Exhibition: Puerto Rican Graphic Arts from the Permanent Collection
  • Homage to Casals
  • A Photo Essay de Puerto Rico: Pre-Colombina Hasta 1940 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Exhibición Navideña
  • 9 Puerto Rican Artists | (View exhibition catalog)

Exhibition poster in 1975


  • SEPT: The photographic exhibition El Barrio-New York: Our History 1910-1969 opens, featuring interviews, music, and other documentation related to East Harlem
Event image in 1976

  • Exhibition of Women Artists
  • Nostalgia
  • Exhibition of Sculpture
  • We the People
  • El Barrio-New York: Our History 1910-1969
  • Children of El Barrio: Artists of the Future
  • Santos (Religion)
  • Mitología y Artes of Pre-Columbian Caribbean
  • Aguinaldo: Un canto navideño

Exhibition poster in 1976


  • JUL: Jack Agüeros is appointed Executive Director (through March 1986)
  • Agüeros negotiates with Boys Harbor, a nonprofit youth services agency, to relocate the museum to the main floor of the Heckscher Building, a multi-tenant, city-owned property at 1230 Fifth Avenue, the current location of the museum. The museum initially leases 12,000 square feet and immediately begins renovation on 3,000 square feet of gallery space
  • The museum joins the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) through a decree from Edward J. Koch, Mayor of New York City

  • Ceramics: Pre-Columbian & Contemporary
  • Teatro: Hispanic Theatre in NYC (1420-1976)
    Collaboration with Off Off Broadway Alliance
  • “El Barrio” Photographs
    Presented at Worcester Center
  • Confrontación: Ambiente y Espacio | (View exhibition catalog)

Exhibition poster in 1977


  • A logo is introduced reflecting the windows of the museum’s new location at the Heckscher Building, designed by Nestor Otero
  • JAN: Agüeros begins the annual tradition of organizing a Three Kings Day Parade in East Harlem, including live animals. Over the years, artists and staff members contribute costumes, props, decorations, and papier-mâché figures of the Three Kings
  • APR: The new location and renovated galleries are inaugurated by the exhibition Resurgimiento
  • OCT: Agüeros notes that the museum’s Permanent Collection includes approximately 70 paintings and sculptures and 600 works on paper in the Recent Acquisitions catalogue
Event image in 1978

  • Resurgimiento
  • En foco documentation Portfolio No. 1: The Puerto Rican Experience
  • Recent Acquisitions of El Museo del Barrio
  • Photographs of Mexico: Modotti/ Strand/ Weston and Four Young Mexican Photographers
    Collaboration with Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., part of Mexico Today citywide celebration
  • Fragmentos de mis islas: Photographs by José Rubén Gaztambide


  • The museum opens an art school in the firehouse with a faculty largely composed of local artists. A course catalogue from January 1980 lists Carmen Biascoechea as the Director of the School of Art
  • APR: Santos de palo, an installation of almost 90 santos is placed on rotating and permanent display
  • JUN 10: The museum co-founds the Museum Mile Festival on Fifth Avenue with ten other major institutions participating, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, The Jewish Museum and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • AUG: 2,300 petition signatures are gathered from the local community, halting the city’s sale of the firehouse, where the museum’s art school was located
Event image in 1979

  • Bridge Between Islands: Retrospective Works by Six Puerto Rican Artists in New York
    Collaboration with Henry Street Settlement-Louis Abrons Arts for Living Center; The Bronx Museum of the Arts | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Personajes del Recuerdo: Recent Works by Domingo García
  • Santos de palo
  • Jorge Soto Sánchez: Works on Paper 1974-1979
  • Portrayals: Photographs by José Antonio Vázquez
  • Paintings, Collages and Sculptures from the Permanent Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at Arsenal Gallery
  • La Familia – The Latin Family
    Collaboration with En Foco
  • Mujeres 9: A Photographic Exhibition
  • José Morales: Painting and Drawing, New York Series #1

Exhibition poster in 1979


  • Teatro 4 organizes its first theatrical production in the firehouse
  • MAR: Board of Trustee George Aguirre helps the museum purchase the firehouse
  • AUG: Artists David Hammons conceives Art Across the Park, an outdoor sculpture project in upper Central Park featuring 20 artists, and concluding in the museum’s courtyard, where works by Jim Nichols and Pedro Luján are installed
  • NOV 20: A ribbon cutting ceremony is held to celebrate the purchase of the firehouse
Event image in 1980

  • Graphics from the Permanent Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at Jersey City CETA Office
  • Homage to Casa de las Americas, Cuba
  • Carlos Raquel Rivera, “con su permiso” | (View exhibition catalog)
  • John Bentancourt-Puerto Rico: Calor
  • Comadres: A Collective Environmental Exhibit by Ten Women Artists
  • Fox and Intervale: Photographs by Perla de León | (View exhibition catalog)
  • From Museo Rayo to Museo del Barrio
  • Petroglifos de Boriquén
  • Roger Cabán: Images of Panama/Portobelo II | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Carteles de Navidad, 1950-1979 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Untitled/Anonymous: Paintings by Colo | (View exhibition catalog)

Exhibition poster in 1980


  • El Museo del Barrio joins the American Association of Museums
  • Museum hosts the first National Latino Film and Video Festival
  • MAY: The Golden Age of Spain: Theatre and Period Dress opens at the museum, as part of the “Golden Age” festival celebrating the 300th anniversary of the playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s death
Event image in 1981

  • Julio Nazario-Grand Central: Notes from the Underground
  • Images of Villarini
  • Auto Retratos: A Photographic Exhibition
    Travels: Casa Aboy, San Juan
  • The Golden Age of Spain: Theatre and Period Dress
    Collaboration with Ballet Hispanico and INTAR Hispanic American Theater | (View exhibition catalog)
  • National Latino Film & Video Festival
  • Silkscreen Posters by José Rosa | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Marcos Dimas: The Voyager | (View exhibition catalog)
  • The Puerto Rican Diaspora: A Preview Exhibition of Photographs by Frank Espada

Exhibition poster in 1981


  • MAY: First retrospective of artist Myrna Báez is presented and later travels to other institutions
  • SUMMER: Artist Papo Colo organizes the project Octopus in the museum’s courtyard consisting of plywood sheets hinged together to form a 140-foot long artist’s book, with “pages” created by artists and poets including Vito Acconci, David Hammons, Ana Mendieta, Catalina Parra, Reverend Pedro Pietri, Juan Sánchez, and others
  • NOV: The New East Wing Gallery and Recent Acquisitions exhibitions celebrate the opening of the renovated galleries, which include the Dr. Ricardo Alegría Gallery of Caribbean Pre-Columbian Art; the Video Gallery; the Art History Gallery; and the East Gallery. The Video Gallery opens with works by artists Juan Downey, Cecilia Vicuña, and Ramsey Najm. The Dr. Ricardo Alegría Gallery of Pre-Columbian Art, which features a waterfall and ramp, presents the first permanent display of the largest U.S. collection of art and artifacts of the Taíno and Greater Antilles, with approximately 200 works
Event image in 1982

  • Teatro 4: Portrait of a Hispanic Community, Theatre, Photographs by Tony Velez
  • Los Taínos: A Visual Tradition | (View exhibition catalog)
  • The Second National Latino Film & Video Festival
  • Myrna Báez: Diez años de Grafica y Pintura, 1971-1981
    Travels: Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA; Chase Manhattan Bank of Puerto Rico | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Octopus
    Fifth Avenue Courtyard
  • Enrique Buenaventura: Drawings/ Dibujos
  • Children of the Darkness: Rafael Colón Morales: Paintings 1972-1982 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • The New East Wing Gallery and Recent Acquisitions | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Video at El Museo: Part I

Exhibition poster in 1982


  • JAN: La Bodega, the museum’s gift shop, reopens with limited editions by artists, catalogues, Santos de Palo, and other merchandise
  • Evelyn Collazo is named Artist-In-Residence from 1983 to 1984
Event image in 1983

  • Video at El Museo: Part II
  • Thirty Pictures: Photographs by Marco Kalisch
  • Portraits: The Puerto Rican Series
  • José Carrero: Obsession with A Laughing Mask
  • Eloy Blanco: Faces & Figures, A Retrospective | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Rafael Ferrer: Impassioned Rhythms
    Organized by the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX
  • Third National Latino Film & Video Festival
  • Edín Velez: Sanctus
  • Three Women/ Three Islands
  • Taíno Masterpieces
  • The Puerto Rican Diaspora: Themes in the Survival of a People, An Exhibition of Photographs by Frank Espada
  • Louis Agassiz Fuerte: Vaulted Birds

Exhibition poster in 1983


  • JAN: El Museo del Barrio presents Francisco Oller: A Realist Impressionist, a traveling retrospective commemorating the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth, which includes the masterpiece, El Velorio

  • Francisco Oller: A Realist Impressionist
    Organized by Museo de Arte de Ponce
  • Latin Times
  • Humble Visions
  • Pepón Osorio: Escalio
  • ¡Mira! The Canadian Club Hispanic Art Tour 1984
    Traveling exhibition
  • The National Latino Film & Video Festival, and Latin American Film Showcase
    Presented at The Public Theatre, New York
  • Mind Harbors: Works of Art from Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Invited Artists from Argentina
  • Faces of the Sixties: Frank Espada
  • Miralda: Santa Comida (Holy Food)
    Travels: Miami-Dade Community College’s South Campus Art Gallery

Exhibition poster in 1984


  • JAN: A new ten-foot high sculpture of one of the Kings is commissioned to artist Rosalie Quintana for the Three King’s Day Parade
  • APR: Tony Bechara: Paintings 1980-1985 is the first exhibition of abstract art presented at the museum
  • SUMMER: Museum newsletter announces that the Board of Trustees voted to acquire the Heckscher Building; this plan has yet to come to fruition
Event image in 1985

  • Tony Bechara: Paintings 1980-1985
  • National Latino Film & Video Showcase
  • ¡Mira! The Tradition Continues: The Canadian Club Hispanic Art Tour
    Traveling exhibition

Exhibition poster in 1985


  • WINTER: Staff agrees to work unpaid to avoid closure of the museum during Department of Cultural Affairs budgetary inquiry; all claims are dismissed
  • MAR: Rafael Colón Morales, Curator since 1983, is appointed Acting Director (through April)
  • APR: NYC Mayor’s Office appoints Gladys Peña, former Curator from 1979-1984, as Interim Director (through October)
  • OCT: Petra Barreras del Río, former Curator and Grants Manager at the New York State Council on the Arts, is appointed Executive Director (through March 1993)

  • Taíno: Artifacts from the Collection
  • Two by New
  • Crafts from Puerto Rico
  • Graphics from Latin America
  • Arts and Crafts: Photographs
  • Life in El Barrio
  • Mango Mambo
  • Francisco Alvarado-Juárez: Native/ Stranger-Painting & Constructions 1983-1986
  • José Gopar: Homage to García Lorca in New York
  • Sophie Rivera: All Hallows Eve

Exhibition poster in 1986


  • FEB 22: The museum hosts an event organized by artists to protest the lack of Puerto Rican art in New York museums, upon the opening of the Lila Acheson Wallace Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Images of Latino Community: The Lower East Side 1956-1986
  • Painterly Touch
  • A Decade of En Foco
    Collaboration with The Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • Films with a Purpose: A Puerto Rican Experiment in Social Films
    Screenings at The Museum of Modern Art, The Collective for Living Cinema, El Museo del Barrio, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • Posters for Films 1950-1979 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Graphic Prints from Puerto Rico
  • From the Center: Eugénia Balcells: A Video Installation
  • Carlos Osorio: Nueva York-Puerto Rico, Paintings 1956-1984
  • Puerto Rican Painting: Between Past & Present
    Traveling exhibition organized by The Squibb Gallery, Princeton, NJ

Exhibition poster in 1987


  • FEB 27: Commemorative program honoring artist Jorge Soto-Sánchez
  • JUN: Museum presents Emblems of His City: José Campeche & San Juan, alongside the artist’s monograph on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • JUL: El Museo del Barrio’s Registrar’s Office begins consolidation of Permanent Collection through packing, conservation survey and archives research
  • AUG: El Museo del Barrio acquires the Theater
  • NOV: UP Tiempo! exhibition features performances by 25 artists including Josely Carvalho, ACT UP, James Luna, Manny Vega, and others
Event image in 1988

  • Raphael Montañez Ortiz: Years of the Warrior, Years of the Psyche, 1960-1988 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Growing Beyond: Women Artists from Puerto Rico
    Travels: Museum of Modern Art of Latin America, Organization of American States, Washington D.C.; Galería Caribe, San Juan
  • Emblems of His City: José Campeche & San Juan
  • Edgar Franceschi: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, A Survey of Work 1980-1988
  • UP Tiempo! Performing & Visual Artists of the Americas
    Collaboration with Creative Time, Inc.
  • National Latino Film & Video Festival
    Presented at Columbia Cinema, New York
  • ¡Folklore! Traditional Crafts from Cuba, The Dominican Republic, & Puerto Rico Made in New York
    Collaboration with The Association of Hispanic Arts, Inc | (View exhibition catalog)

Exhibition poster in 1988


  • MAR 28: Museum’s Board of Trustees advocate for the realization of Mayor Koch’s proposal to create a Center for Latino Arts in East Harlem at 1680 Lexington Avenue (today, the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center)
  • SPRING: As a member of the Cultural Arts Task Force, Barreras del Río sends a letter to the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus condemning token grants to organizations of people of color by the New York State Council of the Arts
  • SUMMER: El Museo del Barrio launches a pilot program with Children’s Aid Society and Child Psychology Residents from Columbia University to create workshops to develop artistic skills, enhance self-identity and cultural heritage among children. The artworks produced are exhibited in the show, Seeing is Believing
  • JUN: NYC Parks Department moves into Heckscher Building, resulting in less space for the museum; Barreras del Río begins exploring solutions to the space limitations
  • AUG: Firehouse renovations begin
Event image in 1989

  • ¡Mira! The Canadian Club Hispanic Art Tour III
    Traveling exhibition
  • Taller Alma Boricua: Reflecting on Twenty Years of the Puerto Rican Workshop: 1969-1989 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Seeing is Believing
    Children’s exhibition

Exhibition poster in 1989


  • SPRING: Museum presents its second children’s exhibition, Nuestra Visión, featuring artworks by more than 1,000 students. The show later travels to the Rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C. with the support of Congressman Charles Rangel
  • FALL: Staff and the Board of Trustees develop the museum’s first 10-year strategic plan; the museum expands and diversifies its Board to include non-Latinos and Latinos of all national backgrounds
  • NOV: Another Face exhibition celebrates the recent donation of Mexican Masks
  • The traveling exhibition, Through the Path of Echoes, is organized as part of a citywide celebration of Mexico
  • DEC 1: Museum participates in Day without Art: A National Day of Action and Mourning in Response to the AIDS Crisis
Event image in 1990

  • Nuestra Visión
    Travels: Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C.
  • Visual Insights on Paper: A Selection of Prints and Drawings from the Permanent Collection
  • El Museo, The Heart of El Barrio: Highlights from the Permanent Collection
    Presented at World Financial Center, Winter Garden Gallery, New York, NY; PepsiCo Headquarters, Purchase, NY
  • Navia, Suárez, Rosario: Three Contemporary Sculptors
  • Art Underground: A Public Art Project by Nitza Tufiño
  • Through the Path of Echoes: Contemporary Art in Mexico
    Organized by Independent Curators, Inc.
  • Another Face: Mexican Masks in El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection
  • Perspectives on Paper: Works from the Permanent Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at East Wing Gallery of Ferris Booth Hall, Columbia University

Exhibition poster in 1990


  • MAY: As part of the exhibition, Con to’ los Hierros, artist Pepón Osorio presents El Velorio, in commemoration of the AIDS crisis
  • Barreras del Río receives the Hispanic Achievement Award in the Arts
  • AUG: Facing budget cuts, the museum temporarily closes from August 5 to September 3
  • DEC: Museum opens Permanent Collection exhibition featuring recent important donations, including over 90 Puerto Rican Santos and 55 Taíno clay vessels
Event image in 1991

  • International Show for the End of World Hunger
    Organized by Artists to End Hunger
  • Portfolio Commemorating the First Centennial of the Abolition of Slavery
  • Con to’ los Hierros: A Retrospective of the Work of Pepón Osorio | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Cine de Mestizaje: The National Latino Film and Video Festival
    Presented at The Anthology of Film Archives
  • Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection
  • Caras y Sueños
    Children’s exhibition

Exhibition poster in 1991


  • JAN: Artist Freddy Rodríguez is named Artist-In-Residence
  • JUL: Three sculptures from the Permanent Collection are included in the exhibition, Cross Section: 70 Sculptures from 20 New York City Museums at the World Financial Center’s exhibition gallery
  • OCT: A House Party, an installation created by children during museum-led workshops in collaboration with Dieu Donne Papermill, opens in conjunction with Antonio Martorell’s exhibition
  • Responsive Hands, a workshop with children from Henry Street Settlement and Union Settlement Associations, is led by artist Grimanesa Amoros

  • Voyages to Freedom: 500 Years of Jewish History in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Antonio Martorell & Friends: La Casa de Todos Nosotros/ A House for Us All
    Travels: Cayey Campus of the University of Puerto Rico and La Casa de Libro in San Juan | (View exhibition catalog)
  • A House Party

Exhibition poster in 1992


  • MAR: Galleries are closed for renovation of exhibition spaces, public facilities, and a new ADAA compliant entrance. During closure, exhibitions of the Permanent Collection and Education Department’s children’s workshops are on view at other sites
  • JUN: The 15th Annual Museum Mile Festival features chalk drawings and stories with artists Antonio Martorell, José Morales, and Grupo Tizón
  • DEC: Susana Torruella Leval, Chief Curator since 1990 and Interim Director since March, is appointed Executive Director (through June 2002)
  • DEC 17: Sesame Street features a portrait quilt created by PS 171 students made during workshops held by the museum and CARING at Columbia University

  • Impresiones: Posters from the Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at Pace University/ Pleasantville Campus; Pace University/Manhattan Campus
  • From the Heart of a Child
    Presented at Tweed Gallery, New York
    Children’s exhibition
  • Our Vision/ Nuestro Vista
    Children’s exhibition
  • Home Away from Home: Latino American Artists, Selected Works from the Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at The Museums of Stony Brook
  • Posters by Antonio Martorell from the Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at The President’s Office of Hostos Community College
  • Pa’lante: Political Works from the Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at Lehman College Art Gallery
  • Insights and Images by Children
    Presented at Atlantic Gallery
    Children’s exhibition

Exhibition poster in 1993


  • SPRING: El Museo del Barrio hosts First Gala
  • MAY: The museum inaugurates its renovated galleries in celebration of its 25th anniversary with the three-part exhibition, Artists Talk Back: Visual Conversations with El Museo; the exhibition invites artists to create works in dialogue with the Permanent Collection
  • AUG: El Museo del Barrio presents Visiones, a long-range plan that introduces an expanded version of the mission statement: “El Museo del Barrio’s mission is to establish a forum that will preserve and protect the dynamic cultural heritage of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States”
Event image in 1994

  • Los Aguinaldos del Infante
    Presented at Taller Boricua
  • Revelaciones: The Art of Manuel Alvarez Bravo
    Traveling exhibition organized by The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
  • 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Artists Talk Back: Visual Conversations with El Museo: Part I – Reclaiming History | (View exhibition catalog)
  • The Latino Papers: Posters, Prints and Works on Paper from El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection
    Presented at Equitable Gallery, New York
  • 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Artists Talk Back: Visual Conversations with El Museo: Part II- Recovering Popular Culture | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Windows of Our Culture, the Hispanic Vision: An Exhibit of Hispanic Art
    Presented at Merrill Lynch Campus Art Gallery
  • Masks and Santos from the Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at White Plains Public Library, New York
  • La Familia
    Organized by the Mexican Cultural Institute

Exhibition poster in 1994


  • SUMMER: The outdoor musical program, Música (later called Summer Nights at El Museo), is held weekly in the museum’s courtyard during the summer and continues for a number of years.
  • OCT: First Día de Muertos celebration

  • Art of the Other Mexico: Sources and Meanings
    Organized by Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago
  • 25th Anniversary Exhibition | Artists Talk Back: Visual Conversations with El Museo: Part III – Reaffirming Spirituality | (View exhibition catalogue)
  • Spirit Trap: Selections from Reaffirming Spirituality
  • Four Corners: Recent Paintings and Drawings by José Morales
  • Selections from El Museo’s Permanent Collection
    Presented at AVON’s offices
  • Posters from El Museo del Barrio’s Collection
    Presented at NYNEX’s offices

Exhibition poster in 1995


  • JAN: Mario César Romero designs an ensemble of royal costumes for the Three Kings Day parade
  • Artist Carla Preiss inaugurates Contemporánea, a series of commissioned, site-specific installations by contemporary artists
  • JUNE: The Mission Task Force, composed of Board of Trustees and museum staff, reword the 1994 mission statement: “El Museo del Barrio will collect, preserve, exhibit, interpret and promote the artistic heritage of Latin Americans, primarily in the United States.”
  • SEPT: Restoration of Henry Prussing’s mural, Spirit of El Barrio begins, sponsored by El Museo del Barrio in collaboration with Hope Community Center
Event image in 1996
Photo by Carla Preiss

  • Historia de la isla: Graphic Works by Puerto Rican Artists 1968-1980
  • Recent Acquisitions: Works from El Museo’s Collections
  • “Contemporánea” series | Carla Preiss: Portrait
  • Leandro Katz: Two Projects/A Decade
  • Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America, 1880-1992, organized by Independent Curators, Inc.
  • Re-Visions of El Barrio, in collaboration with The International Center of Photography
  • “Contemporánea” series Ana Busta: Working Shoes
  • Eloy Blanco: Pursuits of Pointing
  • ADAL: Out of Focus Nuyoricans
  • The Liberated Print: The Portfolio in Puerto Rican Graphics, organized by The Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña
  • Santos: Sculptures Between Heaven and Earth
  • “Contemporánea” series María Elena González: The Persistence of Sorrow

Exhibition poster in 1996
Photo by Maria Elena González


  • MAY: Artist Antonio Martorell reinterprets the 1994 exhibition, The Latino Papers, as the nationally touring exhibition, A Walk Through the Paper Forest: Latino Prints and Drawings from El Museo del Barrio
  • SEPT: El Museo del Barrio presents Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean, the first large-scale exhibition of Taíno art in the United States, accompanied by the first comprehensive publication on the subject written in English
  • The museum launches Classroom Connections aimed at increasing engagement with communities from NYC’s multi-ethnic Latino neighborhoods. Artists and educators from five schools design lesson plans related to themes from the exhibition, Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean. Throughout the school year, artists conduct workshops at the schools
  • El Batey: The Goya Family Activity Center opens at the museum as an interactive area for children to work on activities related to Taíno mythology, craftsmanship, and science
  • El Museo del Barrio’s current website is launched

  • The Conceptual Trend: Six Artists from Mexico City
  • The Veiled Mirrors: Recent Works by Alicia Creus
  • Bio* (as in Biography, Biology, and Biogenesis)
    Collaboration with Colombian Consulate, New York
  • A Walk Through the Paper Forest: Latino Prints and Drawings from El Museo del Barrio
    Travels: Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Historical Society of Rockland County, New City, New York; Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio; Queens Public Library Gallery, Jamaica, New York; Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York; Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, Colorado; and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
  • Re-Aligning Vision: Alternative Currents in South American Drawing
    Organized by The Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, College of Fine Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Explor-A: The Art of the Family
    Collaboration with Central Park Conservancy
  • Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean
  • The Taíno Legacy
  • Nativity Scenes
  • Contemporánea Series
    Jorge Crespo: Coaybay/Site of the Afterlife


  • The museum begins to use a logo – its third – designed by Jonathan Wajskol, featuring a slanted “M”
  • APR: The FOCOS series, dedicated to under-recognized mature artists inaugurates with a solo show of Carmen Herrera
  • MAY: Puerto Ricans for the Next Millennium (PRFM), comprised of artists, educators, and community leaders, express their disappointment regarding the omission of “Puerto Ricans” in the 1996 mission statement. They request that Puerto Ricans, as the founding community, be specifically mentioned in the mission, and that the museum preserve itself as a Puerto Rican institution
  • SUMMER: Renovations of the Theatre, including conservation of Willy Pogany’s murals
  • JUN 9: In collaboration with Creative Time Inc., the museum celebrates the 20th Museum Mile Festival with a performance and site-specific installation of El Mexterminator-Techno-Museo de Etnografía Interactiva by artist Guillermo Gómez Peña
Event image in 1998

  • Brian Nissen: Chinampas
  • Contemporánea Series
    Diamantina González: Recurrent Memories
  • FOCOS Series
    Carmen Herrera: The Black and White Paintings 1951-1989 | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Charlas: Young Women in Dialogue, part of Re-visions of El Barrio
    Collaboration with International Center of Photography
  • FOCOS Series
    Beatriz González: What An Honor To Be With You At This Historic Moment, Works 1965-1997
  • Guillermo Gómez Peña: El Mexterminator-Techno-Museo de Etnografía
    Collaboration with Creative Time Inc.
  • Contemporánea Series
    Rubén Torres Llorca: So Quiet in Here
  • Caribbean Classics: Fernando Ortiz and the History of Afro-Cuban Music
  • Contemporánea Series
    Bibiana Suarez: Domino/Dominó
  • The Art of Jack Delano
    Organized by Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service
  • Gods, Spirits, and Legends: Twentieth Century Art in El Salvador
    Collaboration with Friends from El Salvador
  • Casitas: Gardens of Reclamation

Exhibition poster in 1998


  • APR: The first edition of The (S) Files/The Selected Files (later renamed El Museo’s Bienal) presents the work of emerging Puerto Rican, Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists living and working in the New York area, selected from submissions to El Museo’s Artists Archives
  • SUMMER: The museum is closed over the summer due to renovations
  • SEPT: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the museum re-opens with programming commemorating artists/activists, through exhibitions dedicated to Pepón Osorio, Juan Sánchez and the graphic arts show, Pressing the Point
Event image in 1999

  • Contemporánea Series
    Marta Chilindrón: Cinema Kinesis
  • The (S) Files/The Selected Files
  • Caribbean and Latin American Traditional Arts series (Part I)
    Puerto Rican Santos de Palo: Sculptures Between Heaven and Earth; Altares de los Orishas: Afro-Caribbean Sacred Spaces; Buscando Milagros/ Searching for Miracles: Photographs by Héctor Méndez Caratini
  • Site/Studio/Street Festival
    Presented at Off-site projects in El Barrio
  • Dead Time: Elizam Escobar, Antonio Martorell and Dread Scott
    Presented at Centro Cultural Julia de Burgos, NY
  • Pepón Osorio: TRANSBORICUA
    Phase I: Tertulias in El Barrio
    Phase II: Youngworld Children’s Dept. Store (part of Site/Studio/Street Festival)
    Phase III: El Museo del Barrio
  • Pressing the Point: Parallel Expressions in the Graphic Arts of the Chicano and Puerto Rican Movements
    Collaboration with Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin
  • Juan Sánchez: Printed Convictions. Prints and Related Works on Paper
    Organized by The Jersey City Museum
  • A Tribute to En Foco: 25 Years of Making Photographic History
  • Caribbean and Latin American Traditional Arts Series (Part II)
    Between Heaven and Earth: Devotional Art from Puerto Rico and Mexico; Our Lady of the Apocalypse: The Virgin of Guadalupe and Other Miracles
  • Día de los Muertos Altar
  • ¡Vivan los Muertos!
  • Nacimiento

Exhibition poster in 1999


  • FEB: The Board of Trustees approved the current mission statement that acknowledges the special role of the Puerto Rican founding community while including people of diverse Latin American heritages: “The mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States”
  • OCT: The museum presents Taíno: Ancient Voyagers of the Caribbean, a long-term presentation of pre-Columbian art from the Caribbean, including objects from the Permanent Collection as well as other public and private collections
Event image in 2000

  • Latin American Still Life: Reflections of Time and Place
    Organized by Katonah Museum of Art, New York
  • Contemporánea Series
    Franco Mondini-Ruiz: Mexique
  • Carlos Irizarry: The Sixties Plus Picasso, A Suite of Prints from the Permanent Collection
  • Re-Visions of El Barrio 2000
  • The (S) Files/The Selected Files [2nd Edition]
  • Contemporánea Series
    Ernesto Pujol: Conversion of Manners
  • Santiago-Hoge: ¡Llegaron los Muertos! Monumentos para los que viven en nuestro corazón
  • Taíno: Ancient Voyagers of the Caribbean/Taíno: Antiguos Viajeros del Caribe
  • Latin American Artists-Photographers from the Lehigh University Art Galleries Collection
    Organized by Lehigh University Art Galleries
  • Mexican Folk Masks from the Permanent Collection of El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
  • Nacimiento

Exhibition poster in 2000


  • JUN: The catalogue accompanying the exhibition Voices from Our Communities: Perspectives on a Decade of Collecting at El Museo del Barrio, includes the first published institutional timeline, the start from which this presentation and other previous research began

  • Here & There/Aquí y Allá: Six Artists from San Juan
    Travels: The Blaffer Art Gallery, The University of Houston, TX
  • FOCOS Series
    Antonio Frasconi’s “Let America Be America Again”
  • Contemporánea Series
    Leandro Erlich: Neighbors
  • Puerto Rican Santos de Palo: Sculptures Between Heaven and Earth
    Presented at The Newark Museum
  • Voices from Our Communities: Perspectives on a Decade of Collecting at El Museo del Barrio
  • Contemporánea Series
    Ingrid Méndez: Permanent Visibility
  • Clemente Flores: Recuerdos de El Barrio/ Memories of El Barrio
    Youth Gallery
  • O Fio da Trama/ The Thread Unraveled: Contemporary Brazilian Art
    Travels: Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires-Colección Constantini/MALBA | (View exhibition catalog)

Exhibition poster in 2001


  • JAN: The museum hosts 25th Annual Three Kings Day Parade
  • JUN 11: We Are Watching You campaign stages protest during the Museum Mile Festival regarding the selection of the museums next Executive Director, and circulates An Open Letter About the Future of El Museo del Barrio, resulting in the appointment of community members to the Board of Trustees
  • JUL: Patricia “Trix” Smalley, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, is appointed Interim Director (through November)
  • SEPT: Organized for the Heckscher Museum of Art, the exhibition, Treasures from El Museo del Barrio, serves as the pilot for the Permanent Collection’s traveling show, Voces y Visiones, which opens the following year
  • NOV 18: Julián Zugazagoitia is appointed Executive Director (through Summer 2010)

  • Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Twentieth-Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection
    Collaboration with The Vergel Foundation; Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) and The Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), México
  • Treasures from El Museo del Barrio
    Presented at the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
  • The (S) Files/The Selected Files [3rd Edition]

Exhibition poster in 2002


  • In celebration of its 35th anniversary, the museum presents Voces y Visiones: Highlights from El Museo’s Permanent Collection, an exhibition which travels across the country and to the Dominican Republic during the next three years. The museum also publishes a multi-volume publication dedicated to its history and Permanent Collection, divided into the following volumes: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2004 (view catalog); Modern & Contemporary; Popular Traditions; Graphics; and Taíno; in 2006, a sixth volume dedicated to Contemporary Works by Dominican Artists is added
Event image in 2003

  • FOCOS Series
    Rafael Tufiño: Painter of the People/ Pintor del Pueblo
    Collaboration with Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
  • Voces y Visiones: Highlights from El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection
    Travels: Tampa Museum of Art, FL; Parrish Art Museum, NY; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, NY; Seton Hall University, NJ; Centro Cultural León Jiménez Santiago, Dominican Republic; and the Currier Museum of Art, NH

Exhibition poster in 2003


  • After several years of fundraising, El Museo del Barrio commences a major capital project to renovate its facility at the Heckscher Building, including the Fifth Avenue façade, the 104th street entrance, the lobby, and the museum shop
  • The museum co-organizes major exhibitions, MoMA at El Museo and the nationally touring Retratos
Event image in 2004

  • MoMA at El Museo: Latin American and Caribbean Art from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art
  • New Works from the Permanent Collection
  • No lo llames performance/Don’t Call It Performance
    Organized by Paco Barragan
  • Retratos: 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits
    Co-organized with the San Antonio Museum of Art, TX Travels: San Diego Museum of Art, CA; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.; and San Antonio Museum of Art, TX

Exhibition poster in 2004


  • The firehouse is sold
  • SEPT: Artists living and working from the invited “guest country” of Puerto Rico are included for the first time as part of the 4th edition of The (S) Files, renamed El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files
Event image in 2005

  • Mexico: The Revolution and Beyond, Photographs by Casasola, 1900-1940
    Organized by Canopia and Turner in collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH) and Fototeca Nacional de Pachuca, Mexico
  • Points of View: Photography in El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection
  • El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files/ The Selected Files 2005 [4th Edition]
    Travels: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce

Exhibition poster in 2005


  • FALL: Conceived as a “celebration of Dominican artistic talent,” the museum presents the exhibitions, ¡Merengue! and This Skin I’m In. The latter exhibition features artworks by artists recently acquired for the Permanent Collection, the first dedicated collection of its kind in any New York or U.S. institution
Event image in 2006

  • Between the Lines: Text As Image, An Homage to Lorenzo Homar and The Reverend Pedro Pietri
  • Felix González-Torres: Early Impressions
    Organized by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña for the Trienal Poli/ Gráfica de San Juan: America Latina y Caribe | (View exhibition catalog)
  • Héctor Méndez Caratini: The Eye of Memory – Three Decades, 1974-2003
    Collaboration with the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico
  • ¡Merengue! Visual Rhythms/ Ritmos Visuales
    Organized by the Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes, Santiago, Dominican Republic
  • This Skin I’m In: Contemporary Dominican Art from El Museo del Barrio’s Permanent Collection

Exhibition poster in 2006


  • JUL: The 5th edition of El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files includes a showcase of works by artists from Ecuador, the invited guest country
Event image in 2007

Exhibition poster in 2007


  • WINTER: The groundbreaking exhibition, Arte ≠ Vida opens, accompanied by performances by Latino and Latin American artists including Tania Bruguera; Raphael Montañez Ortiz; and Tunga, among others
  • SUMMER: During the Museum Mile Festival, staff and volunteers recreate Lotty Rosenfeld’s A Mile of Crosses
Event image in 2008

Exhibition poster in 2008


  • The museum begins to use a logo – its fourth – designed by Miguel Sal
  • The Super Sábado family programming series commences
  • FALL: In celebration of the 40th anniversary, the museum presents the landmark exhibition Nexus New York to inaugurate its newly renovated facilities: the lobby, Las Galerías, La Tienda, and the addition of El Café. The exhibition series, Voces y Visiones, dedicated to the Permanent Collection, opens concurrently in the newly named Carmen Ana Unanue Galleries

Exhibition poster in 2009


  • JAN: Polina Porras creates new 12-foot tall puppets of Kings Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar representing the three realms of the Taíno cosmos; the puppets debut during the 33rd Annual Three Kings Day Parade
  • SPRING: El Museo del Barrio hosts the landmark Chicano art exhibition Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, the only East Coast venue to present the show
  • SUMMER: Georgina Nichols, Chief Finance Officer, is appointed Interim Director (through summer 2011)
Event image in 2010

Exhibition poster in 2010


  • FEB: Artist Luis Camnitzer’s A Museum is a School is installed on the façade of the Heckscher Building as part of his monographic exhibition
  • JUL 14: El Museo del Barrio presents the 6th edition of El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files, taking place at multiple venues across the city, including Times Square. The exhibition also includes works from the most recent Biennial of the Central American Isthmus
  • AUG: Margarita Aguilar, who served as El Museo del Barrio’s Curator from 1998 to 2006, is appointed Executive Director (through February 2013)
  • Designer Emilio Sosa creates new costumes for the Three Kings Day Parade inspired by the historic figures Anacaona, Miguel de Cervantes, and Arturo Schomburg
Event image in 2011

Exhibition poster in 2011


  • SUMMER: In collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and a curatorial team of invited scholars, the museum organizes the landmark exhibition and accompanying publication, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, after nearly a decade of collaborative research, scholarship, and site visits across the Caribbean
Event image in 2012
Photo by Jason Mandella

Exhibition poster in 2012
Photo by Jason Mandella


  • FEB: Gonzalo Casals, Director of Education and Public Programs, is appointed Deputy Director
  • AUG: Museum supports East Harlem and South Bronx mural project, Los Muros Hablan NYC, organized by La Respuesta, a Puerto Rican cultural center
  • OCT: Carlos Gálvez, former Director of Capital Projects and Operations, is appointed Deputy Executive Director (current)
  • DEC: Jorge Daniel Veneciano is appointed Executive Director (through August 2016)

Exhibition poster in 2013
Photo by Pavel Acosta


  • Artist Nicolás Dumnit Estévez develops OFFICE HOURS (OH), an evolving project that presents the museum as a holistic work of art and includes a series of actions including: Back in Five Minutes (artist-in-residence program), Over the Table (portfolio review), En Familia: El Museo as GenealogyEl Museo As Classroom/ City As SchoolFriends of Friends, and Creative Disruptions
  • SPRING: As part of OFFICE HOURS (OH), the museum launches Back in Five Minutes, its Artist Residency Program, with artists Coco López, Antonia Pérez, Mauricio Arango, and Alicia Grullón; over the course of the year, Latin@ artists of Caribbean descent living in New York City are invited to generate a new body of work within Las Galerías
  • OCT: The museum launches its Women Artists Retrospective Series with the exhibition, MARISOL: Sculptures and Works on Paper
  • A mural by artist Manuel Acevedo is installed in El Café
Event image in 2014

Exhibition poster in 2014


  • DEC: The museum partners with Arts & Minds to present New York’s first Spanish language museum program that engages individuals with memory loss in meaningful art-centered activities
  • Artists Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Ayana Evans, Jessica Lagunas, and Glendalys Medina participate in the Back in Five Minutes Artist Residencies


  • MAR 2: El Museo del Barrio launches the bilingual immersion program Coquí Club, serving the museum’s youngest visitors, ages 1-4
  • Artists Francisca Benítez and María de los Ángeles participate in the Back in Five Minutes Artist Residencies
  • Installations by artists Jillian Mayer, Sarah Zapata, and Joiri Minaya are presented in El Café and in the lobby of the museum
Event image in 2016

Exhibition poster in 2016


  • MAY: Patrick Charpenel is appointed Executive Director (current)
  • NOV: Las Galerías close for renovations
  • Artists Carlos Jesús Martínez Dominguez, Lourdes Bernard, and Claudia Alvarez participate in the Back in Five Minutes Artist Residencies
  • Installations by artist Miguel Trelles and Melissa Calderón are presented in El Café and lobby of the museum
Event image in 2017

Exhibition poster in 2017


  • WINTER-SUMMER: During gallery renovations, the museum presents exhibitions at the School of Visual Arts in Chelsea; the Hunter East Harlem Galleries in El Barrio; and Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture in the South Bronx
  • SEPT 13: The galleries reopen with the exhibitions Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography and Liliana Porter: Other Situations following a ten month-long Gallery Environmental Stabilization Project. The renovations include updates to the mechanical and control systems, including heating, air-conditioning and humidification
  • OCT 25-26: The museum co-sponsors THEM, the first U.S. theatrical performance by co-directors Liliana Porter and Ana Tiscornia
Event image in 2018

Exhibition poster in 2018


  • FEB: El Teatro re-opens with a performance by Eddie Palmieri, following a fifteen-month renovation including state of the art technology and substantial conservation work to the historic elements of the space
  • SPRING: The Mirror Manifesto, a self-described working document circulates online with signatures from artists, curators, and community members, noting concerns with the “future of El Museo del Barrio and who it belongs to”
  • APR 11: Culture and The People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019, kicks off the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the museum
  • MAY 1-5: El Museo del Barrio curates Diálogos, the first section at Frieze art fair focused on art by contemporary Latinx and Latin American artists
  • MAY 2: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issues a proclamation declaring May 2nd “El Museo del Barrio Day”
Event image in 2019


  • El Museo del Barrio is announced as one of America’s Cultural Treasures by the Ford Foundation
  • MARCH: El Museo del Barrio closes due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The online bilingual initiative, El Museo en Tu Casa is launched
  • MAY: For the second year, El Museo del Barrio curates the section Dialogos, focused on art by contemporary Latinx and Latin American artists for Frieze Viewing Room. The section is moved online when the fair is cancelled due to the COVID-10 pandemic
  • JUNE: “From the Archives,” featuring full text reproductions of select exhibition catalogues and brochures published over the course of El Museo’s 50 year history, is made available to the public online


  • MARCH: El Museo del Barrio opens ESTAMOS BIEN, its inaugural national trienal, featuring over 42 Latinx artists from across the United States and Puerto Rico
  • SEPTEMBER: To celebrate the close of ESTAMOS BIEN, a day of performances by artists Yelaine Rodriguez and Carolina Caycedo is held, marking the museum’s first large-scale in-person experience since the COVID-19 pandemic
  • NOVEMBER: El Museo del Barrio presents the photographic collective En Foco’s first portfolio, The New York Puerto Rican Experience, in full for the first time


  • APRIL: El Museo del Barrio opens the retrospective of its founder, artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz
  • SEPTEMBER: To celebrate the close of his retrospective, artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz performs a new Paper Bag Destruction Concert in El Teatro


  • MAY: El Museo del Barrio opens its most comprehensive permanent collections exhibition, Something Beautiful: Reframing La Colección, in more than two decades. The show offers frameworks to the museum’s holdings of more than 8,500 objects
El Museo del Barrio Logo (text only)

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