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Historic "Nostalgia For My Island" Exhibit To Close June 9

Exhibition Showcases 21 Priceless Works by Puerto Rican Artists From 1786 - 1961


CHICAGO, Illinois (May 2, 2023) - The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture today announced the closing of its exhibition, Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (1786-1962), on Friday, June 9, 2023. The exhibition, which opened in September 2022 at the Humboldt Park-based museum, marked a rare opportunity for lovers of art and the Puerto Rican diaspora to see works by some of the most important artists active on the island from the eighteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century, among them José Campeche, Francisco Oller, Miguel Pou, and Myrna Báez.

“This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring these breathtaking works of art to Chicago,” said Billy Ocasio, CEO of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, the only museum outside of Puerto Rico dedicated to interpreting the arts and culture of the Puerto Rican people. “‘Nostalgia for My Island’ has attracted thousands of visitors to the museum since it opened last September, including local school children on field trips, tourists visiting Chicago from all over the world, and Chicagoans of all backgrounds, who all joined us in celebrating Puerto Rico’s important contributions to art and learning about Puerto Rico’s vibrant culture. Our attendance at the museum has more than doubled since 2021, largely due to the rare opportunity this exhibit brings to our visitors. If you have yet to experience these works of art being showcased at the Museum, make a point to visit before June 9.”

Francisco Oller y Cestero (1833-1917), Hacienda Aurora, 1898, oil on panel / óleo sobre tabla, 12 5/8” x 21 7/8,” Museo de Arte de Ponce. The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc. Gift of Dolores Forteza, in memory of Victor Saldaña. Photo credit: Elias Carmona

The exhibit has been visited by more than 31,000 people from 31 U.S. States, Puerto Rico, and several countries worldwide, including France, Spain, and Germany. The total number of annual visitors to the Museum has more than doubled since 2021, owing in no small part to the significant interest in the Nostalgia for My Island exhibit among fans of fine art and the Puerto Rican diaspora.

Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Paintings from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (1786-1962) presented 21 rare paintings from the Puerto Rican art collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, many of which have never been viewed outside of Puerto Rico. The curatorship of the exhibition revolves around three recurring concepts in the arts of the periods represented: My Home: From the Country to the City, including Miguel Pou y Beccerra’s From My Studio (Salud 58, Ponce) (1930-35) and Fernando Díaz Mackenna’s San Juan Gate (1926); My People: Identity and Traditions, including José Campeche y Jordán’s Portrait of María Catalina de Urrutia (1788) and Miguel Pou y Becerra’s The Promise (1928); and My Island: The Splendor of Puerto Rican Nature, featuring Waldemar Morales’s Landscape, View of San Germán (1957) and Francisco Oller y Cestero’s Still-Life (1900). These themes evoke the longing of the Puerto Rican diaspora and have been key in developing the identity of the new generations of Puerto Ricans born in the United States.

Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (1786-1962) opened Tuesday, September 20, 2022, and closes Friday, June 9, 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 www.museoarteponce.org and via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the handles @museoarteponce and @national_museum_of_pr.

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