When will the San Antonio Art Museum reopen the popular art gallery

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The space, which is on the first floor of the museum’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art, was previously known as the Latin American Folk Art Gallery. It opened under its new name almost exactly two years ago, and will be open to the public again from Friday.

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The gallery has been closed since the February 2021 winter storm, when a sprinkler valve malfunctioned due to a frozen pipe, flooding the gallery. None of the artwork was damaged.

“It only lasted about five months,” said Lucia Abramovich Sánchez, who oversaw the gallery’s reinvention as the museum’s associate curator for Latin American art.

It took time to complete the repairs and reinstall the works and signage.

Art Gallery at the San Antonio Museum of Art.”/>

A crane from Guerrero, Mexico, dated circa 1930, is among the works on display in the Latin American Folk Art Gallery at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Mexico

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Reinventing the gallery was high on Sánchez’s to-do list when she went to work for the museum in 2019. At that time, it had been closed for about two years, also due to water damage from a leak. Marion Oettinger, the museum’s longtime and respected curator of Latin American art, was heading into retirement. The decision was therefore made that the reinstallation of the gallery would fall to Sánchez, his successor.

She made sure the gallery included pieces loved by customers, including a large ceramic ape sporting a flippant hat and a lacquered calabash crane. She also brought out pieces that hadn’t been seen in a while, including an elaborate saddle from the Rockefeller collection and a huge tree of life.

She also restructured the gallery focusing on four themes: History of the collection; life, death and faith; Changing traditions; and Legacy of Craftsmanship.

A ceramic Mexican "tree of death" dated 1978 is one of the pieces in the Latin American Folk Art Gallery at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

A ceramic Mexican “tree of death” dated 1978 is one of the pieces in the Latin American Folk Art Gallery at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

San Antonio/The Ne Art Museum

“I think these categories speak more to the context of artworks in the communities they come from and also think about how they are made and sold as commodities rather than classifying them into more ethnographic categories,” said she declared. said.

Customers who were able to view the gallery during the short opening time reacted positively to the changes, she said.

“One of the favorite things I hear about the space is that it’s a joyful space,” she said. “Of course, there are more complex and harsher themes that are tackled in the gallery. The Life, Death and Faith section presents a whole series of works that are inspired by violence and political conflict, and of course , the ex-votos speak of crises in people’s lives.

“It’s not just all sunny and happy themes, but the colors in space, and the fact that there are also a lot of irreverent, fun and happy works is a really exciting thing for people to come in. and explore.”


[email protected] | Twitter: @DeborahMartinFR

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