Exhibit Opens September 19, 2023; Marks First Time Works Exhibited Outside of Puerto Rico
CHICAGO, Illinois (August 31, 2023) – The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture today announced a partnership with the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and the estate of Rafael Tufiño, bringing 39 important paintings, drawings, and prints by Puerto Rican artist Rafael Tufiño to Chicago and the United States for the first time. Celebrating 100 Years of Rafael Tufiño opens Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in Humboldt Park, and will be on view through August 2024. Museum and exhibit entry is free to the public.
La Plena c. 1961
Silkscreen on paper
Born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, to Puerto Rican parents, Rafael Tufiño, often hailed as “El Pintor del Pueblo,” was a tireless creator and one of the artists who truly represented the best Puerto Rican tradition of printmaking. Tufiño came to Puerto Rico as a child and began his art training with Alejandro Sånchez Felipe and Juan Rosado and studied printmaking and mural technique at the San Carlos Academy in Mexico. Tufiño’s contributions to the arts and education include cofounding the Center for Puerto Rican Art in 1950 and founding the Puerto Rican Workshop (“Taller Boricua”) in New York from 1970 - 1974. He has also been awarded numerous distinctions, such as the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1954, the National Culture Award of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in 1987, and in 2013 New York City named 103rd Street in Harlem as the “Rafael Tufiño Way.” Tufiño left an indelible mark through his vibrant artworks that celebrated his Puerto Rican heritage and social issues and his legacy as a printmaker, painter, illustrator, muralist, and draftsman lives on in the collections of esteemed institutions like the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and the Museo de Arte de Ponce, exemplifying his role as a cultural connector and a passionate advocate for the arts.
“Our museum exists to share the work of artists in the diaspora with people outside of the island, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience our history and cultural traditions,” said National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture CEO Billy Ocasio. “Throughout his career, Rafael Tufiño played a vital role in bridging the communities of Puerto Rico and New York, and now with this exhibit his legacy lives on, building a new bridge to the Chicago community.”
The 39 works showcased in CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF RAFAEL TUFIÑO represent key themes visited throughout the artist’s career, “Palabra e Imagen (Word and Image)”, “Gente de Pueblo (Townspeople)”, “Movimiento (Motion)”, and “Colaboración (Collaboration).” Only five of the 39 works included have ever been exhibited in the continental United States before; none of these important works have been displayed in Chicago until now.
Celebrating 100 Years of Rafael Tufiño opens Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (3015 W. Division Street, Chicago, Illinois). The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets are free to the public. For more information about this exhibition, visit www.nmprac.org or Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the handles @national_museum_of_pr.