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  • ICAA Record ID
    Colectiva de Artistas Puertorriqueños
    [Letter] 1974 May 29, New York [to] Board of Directors of El Museo del Barrio / Colectiva de Artistas Puertorriqueños
    4 leaves
    Typed sheet – Letters
    Colectiva de Artistas, to Board of Directors of El Museo del Barrio, New York, May 29, 1974. The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, New York, NY.

The group—calling itself the Colectiva de Artistas Puertorriqueños—articulates the concern that the policies of El Museo del Barrio marginalize the production of Puerto Rican artists in New York in favor of promoting well-established artists from the island of Puerto Rico. Their letter reminds the museum that artists’ protests against ethnic discrimination in New York museums led to the creation of El Museo del Barrio, and expresses concerns that the museum was losing sight of its mission. The artists request that the administration establish regular dialogue with them and commit to maintaining the institution as a community-based museum. Additionally, the artists demand that the museum establish policies that will benefit local artists, such as creating a multimedia artist archive as well as its arts resource center.


The letter to El Museo del Barrio from the Colectiva de Artistas Puertorriqueños contains one of the earliest and most comprehensive critiques of the museum administration. The letter was issued after a protest against El Museo del Barrio initiated by the artist collective, Taller Boricua. The protest concerned the lack of New York-based Puerto Rican artists in The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico (1973), a major exhibition coproduced with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The following individuals signed the document: Carlos Ortiz, Roberto Betancourt, Américo Casiano, Victoria Colón, Petra Cintrón, David Cottes, Héctor Del Valle, Ángel Domínguez, Sandy Esteves, Miguel Guzmán, J. Jiménez, Juan Maldonado, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Víctor R. Mojica, José Morales, Rafael Colón Morales, René Oleda, Martín Tito Pérez, Geno Rodríguez, Myrna Rodríguez, Fernando Salicrup, D. Michael Sánchez, Jorge Soto, Zoraida Torres, and José Falcón. For an overview of artists’ protests against El Museo del Barrio. [See: Yasmin Ramirez, “The Activist Legacy of Puerto Rican Artists in New York and the Art Heritage of Puerto Rico,” ICAA Documents Project Working Papers, No. 1, September 2007.]

Yasmin Ramirez
The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, New York, NY