It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month. As the nation celebrates the innumerable contributions Hispanic-Americans have made to American history, society and culture through festivals, museum exhibits, articles and so much more — it’s hard to choose which events to be a part of (after all, the choices are endless!). So, for all you art and history lovers out there, we’ve got some fantastic news!
We’ve rounded up a list of five of our favorite exhibits across the U.S., so you can get your Hispanic Heritage and history fix, wherever you are. Check it out!
California Legacies: Missions And Ranchos
Bowers Museum – Orange County, CA
It’s no secret that California is home to one of the largest Hispanic populations in all of North America. But have you ever wondered when it all started? Although it may not answer all of your questions, the California Legacies exhibition at the Bowers Museum in California is sure to offer some insight and some answers to at least a few. This exhibit features objects related to the settlement of Alta California from 1868-1848. The migrants who filtered into California came via Spanish land grants, and the items on display highlight the life at the California Missions and the lifestyles of the first families who flourished under Mexico’s rule of California known as the Rancho period. What can you expect to see here? Artifacts that range from the first brandy still to be brought to California, a statue of St. Anthony that originally stood in the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano and last, but not the least, a memo pouch used by Native Americans to deliver messages between missions!
La Villita Historic Arts Village
San Antonio, Texas
You love exhibits but cringe at the thought of stepping into a museum. That’s a tough one to crack if you’re trying to see, experience and celebrate Hispanic Heritage, arts and culture. Or so you’d think! For a more immersive take on an exhibition, how about walking through a small village brimming with all the above? La Villita, on the south bank of the San Antonio Riverwalk and just a short drive from the famed Alamo battle site, was once one of San Antonio’s first neighborhoods. Now, this small-village-turned-arts-community is on the U.S. government’s National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District and brims with everything from Mexican folk art galleries to Spanish architecture and handmade jewelry and pottery. Stop by and stroll through this papel picado-decorated, tiny town for a one-of-a-kind experience!
Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography
El Museo Del Barrio – New York City, NY
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#ARTE “Oscar Castillo’s photograph of the ruins of the Maravilla Housing project casts murals as miraculous apparitions that suggest hope rising from destruction. Castillo documents two murals by David Lopez that had become a popular community shrine. The murals were so valued by local residents that they were saved during the demolition and reinstalled at another site. The artist’s detailed title, which identifies the cross streets where the original shrine was located, conveys his intent to record a community memory.” – @americanart | 📸 Oscar Castillo, Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe at Maravilla Housing Project, Mednik Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue, East Los Angeles, early 1970s, printed 2012, Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum. . . . ON VIEW NOW at @elmuseo a part of the exhibit Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography organized by @wheightsgirl @americanart #losangeles #westcoast #chicano #latinx #arte #virgendeguadalupe #mexico #urban #community
Ten photographers, two decades and one captivating exhibit – that’s what you’ll find at NYC‘s El Museo Del Barrio’s newest addition Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography. From street life across urban America to glimpses of cultural renewal projects and portraits of residents set against their concrete landscapes, these carefully curated photographs draw the viewer into the spaces and lives of urban dwelling Latino-Americans from the 1960s to the 1980s. If you love photography you won’t want to miss this poignant look at the emergence of prominent Latin communities across the U.S.
Circo de la Ausencia
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture – Chicago, IL
Translated, this means “Circus of Absence” – the name of a theatrical exhibit featuring socio-political concepts presented through eccentric performances and images of circus acts by theatre group Y No Habia Luz. Throughout the gallery, this colorful imagery is used as a metaphor for the many perspectives and issues of Puerto Ricans, ranging from colonialism to present day gender rights and global diaspora. If you’re someone looking for a little extra eccentricity in your next museum visit, this is definitely the kind of exhibit you’re looking for. Trust us when we say, no dull moments here!
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places and Events on Stamps
National Postal Museum – Washington D.C.
Last but not the least (by any means), if you don’t think you’re going to make it to any of the exhibits listed here, how about viewing one right at your seat? That’s right. You don’t have to move a muscle to see the National Postal Museum’s latest exhibit honoring Hispanic Heritage Month called People, Places and Events on Stamps!
Have any favorite Hispanic heritage exhibits to add to the list? Let us know what they are in the comments section!