For Immediate Release


MAY 17, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 9, 2012 – CARAS/CUENTOS ~ FACES/STORIES represents the second in a series of six special exhibitions that draw from The Mexican Museum’s permanent collections. This exhibition includes new acquisitions and artworks that have never or rarely been seen by the public.

Exploring the traditions of portraiture in Latino, Chicano and Latin American art and the rich stories this kind of artwork evokes, CARAS/CUENTOS includes exquisite pieces from each of the museum’s five main collecting areas: ancient culture, colonial, popular art, fine art and contemporary art. The exhibition is on view May 25, 2012 through January 6, 2013.

“Portraits have been used to honor departed family members, strengthen one’s social standing, celebrate historic events, promote politicians and mark rites of passage, among other motivations,” said David de la Torre, curator of the exhibition. “The rich visual content of the exhibition serves as an entry point into a greater understanding of the traditions of portraiture and the many reasons why artists have depicted the human face through time.”

“In addition to presenting The Mexican Museum’s permanent collection, we are very proud to feature adjacent to the exhibition two works from the Smithsonian Institution, of which we are the only Affiliate in San Francisco,” said Dr. Jonathan Lorenzo Yorba, Director & CEO. “The two digital artworks of César Chávez from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in CARAS/CUENTOS represent powerful examples of a stark portrait of this national leader as well as a documentary portrait of one of the most important movements for civil- and workers’ rights.”

CARAS/CUENTOS highlights some of the finest works in the museum’s holdings including Pre-Hispanic ceramics from Mexico’s ancient culture as well as Incan Peru. Highly crafted santos, religious paintings and retablosare covered within the 19th-century colonial era. Internationally recognized master artists such as Rosa Covarrubias, Gustavo Monroy and Rufino Tamayo are included within the modern art section.

The cutting-edge vitality of contemporary Chicano and Latino art is represented by Carlos Almaraz, Virginia Benavidez, Cristina Emmanuel, Carmen Lomas Garza and Emigdio Vasquez, among others. CARAS/CUENTOS would not be complete without showcasing popular cultural traditions as colorful vehicles for conveying concepts of belonging, community and identity.

CARAS/CUENTOS also takes opportunity to showcase recent acquisitions and the generosity of museum patronage over time. Previous donors such as the Museum’s founder, Peter Rodriguez, singer Andy Williams, Ann Rockefeller Roberts, and Adriana and Tom Williams will be acknowledged among many others who have helped to create one of the most important collections of its kind in the United States within the exhibition.


About The Mexican Museum

Founded by San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez in 1975 in the heart of the Mission District and now at Fort Mason Center, The Mexican Museum is the realization of a vision to exhibit the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican American people. Today, the Museum’s vision has expanded to reflect the evolving scope of the Mexican, Chicano and Latino experience. The Museum currently has a permanent collection of more than 14,000 objects reflecting Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican, Latino and Chicano art. For more information, please visit: or call (415) 202-9700.

The Mexican Museum is open Wednesday - Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m. FREE Admission. The museum is located at Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina Blvd. and Buchanan St., in San Francisco.

Media Contact:
Victoria Sanchez De Alba
De Alba Communications
(650) 270-7810
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