El Museo del Barrio, a leading New York City cultural institution, invites visitors of all backgrounds to discover Latino culture. The museum, commonly referred to as El Museo, also encompasses Caribbean, and Latin American culture through artistic expression.
The museum’s mission is to preserve and expose the art of Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans in the United States. In addition to various exhibitions devoted to art, El Museo releases bilingual publications and puts on educational festivals and activities. Since the museum is well-known as an institution that educates about Latino culture, the museum allows visitors to form bonds with the culture and understand it better.
Its establishment dates back to about 45 years ago. At this time, artist and educator Rafael Montanez Ortiz realized that very few museums cater to Latino culture. To combat that, he decided to create an institution devoted to the elevation of Latino culture.
As a result, El Museo today houses over 6,500 objects and artifacts of value that span over 800 years of precious history. Some of the objects are pre-Columbian Taíno artifacts, drawings from the 20th century, paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and videos.
In an effort to reach new audiences, El Museo has partnered with various organizations, such as the New York Historical Society and the Queens Museum, to bring new exhibitions. The museum saw influxes of people at some of its most popular exhibitions, including an exhibition on Frida Kahlo.
The idea for the museum came out of a public classroom. From its humble origins stemmed an amazing institution that draws in people of all backgrounds. Nowadays, El Museo del Barrio sits on Museum Mile along with other prestigious New York City museums. This museum allows people of the Latino community to thrive and feel represented. However, the museum also allows people who do not identify with the Latino culture to learn more about it and immerse themselves in it.