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    Bajo el emblema de la pava: arte y populismo puertorriqueño dentro del contexto internacional / Shifra Goldman

    Plástica  (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- Vol. 2, no. 19 (Sep. 1988)


    p. 9-26
    Journal article – Essays
    Goldman, Shifra M. "Bajo el emblema de la pava : arte y populismo puertorriqueño dentro del contexto internacional." Plástica  (San Juan, Puerto Rico), vol. 2, no. 19 (September 1988): 9-26
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The American critic and historian Shifra M. Goldman considers the influence that the art of the New Deal (the program introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States that existed from 1933 to 1938) and Mexican Social Realist art might have had on Puerto Rican artists during the populist term of Luis Muñoz Marín and the Partido Popular Democrático [People’s Democratic Party]. Goldman discusses the various programs and initiatives that were launched between 1940 and 1965 as a result of the New Deal and the Muñoz Marín administration: the development of silkscreen printing techniques that were part of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (a New Deal initiative), the birth of the Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño (CAP) [Puerto Rican Art Center], and finally, the importance of the División de Educación de la Comunidad (DIVEDCO) [Community Education Division]. As Goldman mentions, the Puerto Rican art movement, particularly in the 1950s, was a nationalist project, largely influenced by Mexican mural and graphic art. The goal was to confront the imperialist policies of United States that assumed a sense of artistic self-determination.


Plástica magazine, where this review was published, was an art publication that appeared fairly regularly in Puerto Rico. It began modestly enough in 1968, as the newsletter of the Liga de arte de San Juan [San Juan Art League], but changed its name in 1978 to Plástica revista de la Liga de estudiantes de San Juan [San Juan Student League Visual Arts Magazine]. Its very specific title notwithstanding, the twenty-one issues of the magazine explored a wide range of subjects within the broad parameters of Puerto Rican and Latin American art, filling its pages with retrospective coverage of subjects, such as the V Bienal de San Juan del grabado latinoamericano y del Caribe [5th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints] (1981), Puerto Rican architecre, and Latin American visual arts. The first editorial board of the magazine included Hélène Saldaña, Delta Picó, Cordelia Buitrago, and J.M. García Segovia. In addition to the many essays written by top Puerto Rican thinkers, the magazine published contributions from some of the leading Latin American artists and critics, such as Luis Camnitzer, Damián Bayón, Jacqueline Barnitz, Samuel Cherson, Joseph Alsop, Omar Rayo, and Ricardo Pau Llosa, among many others.

The text titled “El significado del desarrollo de la Comunidad: Un informe de la División de Educación de la Comunidad” [The Meaning of Community Development: A Report on the Community Education Division] (see doc. No. 804865) has more information on the community focus of the División de Educación de la Comunidad [Community Education Division], better known as the DIVEDCO.

This article, which had appeared previously in Plástica magazine, was included in the book published by Shifra M. Goldman: Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

Flavia Marichal
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Eric Garcia, POA Shifra Goldman, North Hollywood, CA
Courtesy of Arte Público Press, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras