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National Museum of Puerto Rican Art & Culture Announces "Nostalgia for My Island" Exhibit

Opens September 20, 2022; Marks First Time Many Works Exhibited Outside of Puerto Rico

CHICAGO, Ill. ­ The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture today announced a partnership with the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, bringing important pieces by Puerto Rican artists to Chicago as part of the Museo de Arte de Ponce’s efforts to make its collection accessible, especially to the Puerto Rican diaspora, following the impact of the 2020 earthquake on the island. Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (1786-1962) opens Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in Humboldt Park, and will be on view until June 9, 2023.

Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (1786-1962)presents 21 paintings from the Puerto Rican art collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce. Organized by the curator of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Iraida Rodríguez-Negrón, the exhibition includes representative works of some of the most important artists active in 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.

"For the Museo de Arte de Ponce it is an honor to have the support and collaboration of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, and especially its director Billy Ocasio, who encouraged us to present this exquisite sample of masterpieces of Puerto Rican art. I am sure that this exhibition, so representative of the essence of our Island, will create, in our community of the diaspora, a great pride in their Puerto Rican roots." said Cheryl Hartup, Director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce. "In this moment, the museum is going through one of the most difficult times in its history as a result of the damage caused to our main building by the earthquake of 2020, and the arduous repair process that the structure will require to reopen its doors in our headquarters in Ponce. To be able to travel this exhibition of the collection to our national museum in the City of Chicago is a great achievement that we enthusiastically celebrate and deeply appreciate.”



“Artistic works like these paintings on loan from Museo de Arte de Ponce remind us that the Puerto Rican culture remains strong, even in times of adversity,” said Billy Ocasio, CEO of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture. “We have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring this exhibit to Chicago, to bring our communities together in a meaningful way that celebrates Puerto Rico’s important contributions to art and provides opportunities to learn about Puerto Rico’s vibrant culture.”

Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (1786-1962) will reside at 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, and will be complemented by a catalog that will include images of all the works exhibited in addition to an academic essay by the curator that will offer context to the content of the exhibition.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to further study these magnificent pieces of Puerto Rican art that we preserve in the museum. One of my priorities as a curator is to revisit the works of our great masters, many of which deserve further study. This exhibition marks the beginning of a new approach to Puerto Rican art by the Museo de Arte de Ponce, a very important part of our permanent collection since the museum was founded in 1959. This is not only because it is the production of our artists, but also because it makes up approximately a third of the collection," said Iraida Rodríguez-Negrón, curator of the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

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 the development of 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)opens Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 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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