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In this typewritten open letter, the artist collective Taller Boricua [Puerto Rican Workshop], criticizes El Museo del Barrio for excluding the work of several New York-based Puerto Rican artists from an unnamed exhibition of Puerto Rican art jointly organized by El Museo del Barrio and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The letter concludes with a postscript simultaneously inviting people to a parallel exhibition showcasing the work of artists from the Taller.


The Puerto Rican artist collective, Taller Boricua, was founded in 1970 by Marcos Dimas, Adrian García, Manuel Otero, and Martin Rubio in East Harlem (New York City). The founders of Taller Boricua were active in the Puerto Rican empowerment movement and The Art Workers Coalition, a multiethnic artist organization that fought to end racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in museums and galleries in New York. This undated letter written to El Museo del Barrio, a community museum in East Harlem, criticizes the institution for excluding work by New York-based artists from an exhibition that was carefully researched, and which has been identified as The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico (1973). According to Dimas, this open letter was distributed to visitors of the show and constituted the first organized protest against El Museo del Barrio by local artists. An additional letter calling for reforms at El Museo del Barrio was written by the Colectivo de Artistas Puertorriqueños [Collective of Puerto Rican Artists] on May 29, 1974.

Yasmin Ramirez
Courtesy of the private archives of Mr. Marcos Dimas, New York, NY