ESTAMPAS DE LA RAZA
CONTEMPORARY PRINTS FROM THE ROMO COLLECTION
September 25, 2012 | January 27, 2013
This survey of Mexican American and Latino printmakers chronicles the late 1960s at the outset of the Chicano Movement to the confident expressions of the 2000s. Estampas de la Raza introduces recent gifts to the McNay from San Antonio collectors Harriett and Ricardo Romo. More than 60 prints by 44 artists reveal the richness of a mixed cultural heritage, with depictions of Frida Kahlo, lowriders, the Statue of Liberty, tattoos, and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Organized thematically in five sections, both the catalogue and the exhibition focus on aspects of the Latino experience in the United States: the identity of individuals striving to define themselves; the Chicano Movement’s struggle to achieve economic, political, and personal equality; tradition, memory, and culture in the everyday lives of Latinos; icons that serve as guideposts; and other voices revealing the complex and ever-changing directions Latinos choose. Many images are larger than life, serving up a colorful, visual feast.
Harriett and Ricardo Romo began acquiring art while teaching in Southern California at the height of the Chicano Movement in the late 1960s. As educators, they saw collecting as a means of supporting the artists as well as the movement’s goal of equal educational opportunity in Los Angeles’s school system. Intensely involved with Self Help Graphics & Art, a nexus of Chicano culture in East LA, the Romos bought many prints from the renowned collaborative print shop. After their return to Texas, they continued supporting Latino artists and became patrons of another highly important print shop, Coronado Studio in Austin.
Gifts since 2008 from Harriett Romo, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Ricardo Romo, UTSA’s president, now constitute one of the largest donations in the history of the McNay’s print collection, at present totaling 200 works that survey the best Chicano and Latino prints produced in Southern California and Texas in the last four decades. This exhibition celebrates the Romos’ generosity and the unique character, diversity, and richness these images bring to the museum’s American print collection.
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This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum.
The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992 is generously providing lead sponsorship.
Major sponsors are the McCombs Foundation in honor of Connie McCombs McNab and Charline McCombs; the William and Salomé Scanlan Foundation; Frost Bank; the Marcia and Otto Koehler Foundation; and the Dan and Gloria Oppenheimer Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation.
Additional supporters are Malu and Carlos Alvarez; Rita and John Feik; Ford, Powell & Carson Architects and Planners, Inc.; Gloria Galt; Terry Touhey; Kathy and Lionel Sosa, the Director’s Circle; and the Host Committee.
The San Antonio Express-News is contributing media sponsorship.