Frequently Asked Questions

Why and when was the museum established:

After his first trip to Mexico in 1954, San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez envisioned an institution to be created in the United States that would exhibit the aesthetic expression of the Mexican people. The Mexican Museum was established in 1975 and has since expanded to include the arts of Latino cultures throughout the Americas.


If the museum now encompasses all of the Americas, will it maintain its name?

The Mexican Museum will maintain its name. Through its programs, the museum reflects the full scope of the meaning of the word Mexican -- mixture, complexity, and intersection of cultures and influences. The museum has a long history of collecting art and presenting programs that focus on Latino cultures in the Americas, and continues to do so today.


Does the museum have a permanent collection?

The Mexican Museum has a permanent collection of over 14,000 objects (paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, prints, photographs, mixed-media works) including Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art. Given the size of the collection, it would be impossible to exhibit the entire collection at any one time, but when we move into our permanent home we will have the capacity to present portions of the collection on an increased level.


When will construction begin on the permanent home?

We are currently engaged in complex negotiations with the City and County of San Francisco, Millennium Partners, and all the parties involved in the vicinity of the new site. The beginning of construction will be announced on this website or you can contact The Mexican Museum for the most current information.


What are some differences between the current site at Fort Mason and the permanent home?

Our exhibition space will increase significantly. We will enlarge the collection holding area for the permanent collection and our home will be centrally located in downtown San Francisco's Yerba Buena arts district which is home to a number of other musuems large and small. This will allow for easy access to the museum via public transportation as well expand our audience size with Bay Area residents and visitors alike.


Is there another organization in the United States like The Mexican Museum?

The Mexican Museum is an institution like no other in the following ways:

  • The scope of collecting and programming is broad and comprehensive. In addition to ancient and contemporary Mexican artistic forms, the Museum also addresses U.S. Chicano/Mexican American/Latino artistic forms, as well as the art and culture of other Latin American countries. The Mexican Museum looks through a global lens at art, culture, history and heritage.
  • The Museum's permanent collection is the largest of its kind of any Latino arts and cultural institution in the United States.


Are the galleries closed during the construction of the Permanent Home?

No, The Mexican Museum is currently open at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco as well as co-presenting exhibitions and related programming in different venues. Please check our calendar for updated information.


Does the Museum still have programming?

Our schedule of educational and public programs continues to explore the complexity of Mexican and Latino arts and cultures. See the calendar section for more details.


When will you be opening the new facility?

Please check our website for updates on our permanent home or subscribe to e-Gaceta, our free online newsletter, to receive current news.