About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nueva York, Gran Manzana

In the heart of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), the New York Historical Society in conjunction with El Museo del Barrio has opened a new exhibit called "Nueva York, 1613-1945" about the influence of the Spanish-speaking world on NYC.
In an unprecedented collaboration, the New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio will present Nueva York (1613-1945), the first museum exhibition to explore how New York’s long and deep involvement with Spain and Latin America has affected virtually every aspect of the city’s development, from commerce, manufacturing and transportation to communications, entertainment and the arts.

Organized by the two institutions, Nueva York will be on view from September 17, 2010, through January 9, 2011, at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street), while the New-York Historical Society’s landmark building on Central Park West undergoes a $60 million architectural renovation. The project team has been directed by chief curator Marci Reaven of City Lore and chief historian Mike Wallace, Distinguished Professor of History at the City University of New York and Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of Gotham.

Bringing together the resources of New York’s oldest museum and its leading Latino cultural institution, this exhibition will span more than three centuries of history: from the founding of New Amsterdam in the 1600s as a foothold against the Spanish empire to the present day, as represented by a specially commissioned documentary by award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns. Nueva York will bring this story to life with hands-on interactive displays, listening stations, video experiences and some 200 rare and historic maps, letters, broadsides, paintings, drawings and other objects drawn from the collections of the two museums, as well as from many other distinguished institutions and private collections.
I would give my left arm to be in New York this fall to see the exhibit. At any rate, while the program promises to be Boricua heavy (isn't the NY Yankees baseball cap the official hat of Puerto Rico?), art will be on display by (who else) Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. There will also be some work by Uruguayan painter Jose Torres Garcia (like his Docks of New York, 1920, below).

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