Exhibits & Events+

Recent Exhibits & Events+


Two Masks Painted mesh wire Mexico/Nicaragua, 20th century The Mexican Museum, Bequest of Rex May. PHOTO: Susan Burdick

The collection, gifted to the museum in 2001 by Rex May, represents the rich visual colors, sensibilities, spirit and vitality of Mexico and its people. The collection itself is comprised of more than 1,400 culture objects all of which were personally selected by Mr. May, who was an avid collector of Mexican folk art.

The Rex May collection on display includes paintings, wooden sculptures, ceramics, retablos, and paper mache animal masks representing the finest in Mexican folk art traditions.

Besides being an avid collector of Mexican popular art, Mr. May is best known for his iconic design of the 49 Mile Drive logo and sign that debuted at the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition and is still used today. He was also the owner of the legendary Christmas Store on Sacramento Street in San Francisco for many years. 

“The Rex May Collection of Popular Art represents a major acquisition to The Mexican Museum’s Permanent Collection,” said David J. de la Torre, Director, The Mexican Museum. “We continue to be inspired by the generosity of Rex May and his partner Charles Little who, over time, have been major museum supporters. While we’re awaiting the opening of our new building, the museum is excited to show a carefully selected portion of this amazing collection to the general public. The collection underscores the museum’s ongoing commitment to the preservation and exhibition of Mexican folk art traditions.”