September 2, 2014 through June 28, 2015
Ellen Johnson Gallery
The first modern work of Latin American art entered the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) in 1936, forming the basis of a diverse group of more than 200 modern and contemporary works by artists from 12 countries. This academic year, the museum will feature its Latin American collection in a comprehensive exhibition organized by Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Denise Birkhofer.
The works range from Mexican Revolution-era prints to recent conceptual installations. Organized into thematic groupings—religion and the sacred, immigration and exile, and death and violence, for example—many of the works are on view at the AMAM for the first time.
The exhibition showcases the breadth and quality of a collection shaped, not only as a result of purchases, but also through gifts from individual collectors who championed Latin American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. During the 1940s, philanthropist and suffragist Lucia McCurdy McBride donated five important works by Mexican artists, most notably José Clemente Orozco’s Mexican House. She also facilitated, in 1947, the AMAM’s purchase of Diego Rivera’s colorful Portrait of a Girl. In the 1970s, Leona E. Prasse donated lithographs by Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, three artists known as los tres grandes (the three giants), whose public murals have come to define the Mexican Revolution.
The AMAM continues as an active collector today. New works in a variety of media reflect major movements in modern art, such as abstraction, as well as cultural practices and political concerns unique to Latin America.
A 112-page color catalogue has been produced to accompany the exhibition and can be purchased at the museum or through mail order. More information on the catalogue can be found here.
The AMAM gratefully acknowledges program support from the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.