San Francisco, CA — Feb. 3, 2017 — The Mexican Museum, the premier museum of Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American art, culture, and heritage and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, announces that the museum’s world-class collection of alebrijes is now on-loan to the new Cholula Regional Museum (Museo Regional de Cholula) in Puebla, Mexico. One of the most anticipated museums in Mexico, the Regional Museum of Cholula was inaugurated on January 23, 2017 by Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, and the outgoing governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle.
Part of the permanent collection of The Mexican Museum (Gift of The Gregorio Valner Art Collection), the magnificently carved wood alebrijes are colorful Mexican folk-art sculptures of imaginary creatures. Each fantastical creature blends the physical elements of different animals, an idea that originated with renowned Mexican artist Pedro Linares in the 1930s. Linares created elaborate papier maché figures following a near-death experience, where he claimed to have been saved from death’s door by the apparition of these strange, marvelous figures. His legacy has been kept alive by his family, and the role of alebrijes as protectors has since been woven into Mexican cultural traditions.
“The Mexican Museum is proud to honor the inauguration of the Regional Museum of Cholula,” said Andrew M. Kluger, Chairman of the Board of The Mexican Museum. “Gifted to us through the tremendous generosity of respected art collector Gregorio Valner, these alebrijes are priceless examples of our permanent collection of over 16,500 art objects, reflecting Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American art from Pre-Hispanic times to the present. The Mexican Museum and the Regional Museum of Cholula share a common purpose: to celebrate the incomparable beauty, character, and creativity of our heritage with the world.”
About the Regional Museum of Cholula: The Regional Museum of Cholula is located in Puebla, Mexico – a city assigned by UNESCO as a world heritage site – and features eight exhibition halls, including a projection room, a video mapping area, and a store. The museum invites visitors to experience the geological origins and archaeological vestiges of the region in the Valley of Puebla; the history of the New World’s largest pyramidal basement; and the end of the pre-Hispanic Period and the birth of a new culture. On exhibit are paintings and viceroyal sculptures, as well as world-class collection of alebrijes mexicanos and ceramics poblana. Its tremendous archaeological collection is the result of local excavations undertaken by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The Regional Museum of Cholula is located in what was once the Psychiatric Hospital of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a building inaugurated in 1910 by Mexico’s then-president, Porfirio Díaz. A new high-speed train now runs between Puebla and the museum, making the facility more readily accessible to tourists. For more information, please visit: http://puebla.travel/es/museos/item/museo-regalo-sitio-cholula.
About The Mexican Museum: Founded by the well-known San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez in 1975 in the heart of the Mission District, The Mexican Museum is located at the Fort Mason Center. It is the realization of his vision to present the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican American people. Today, the museum’s vision has expanded to include the full scope of the Mexican, Chicano, and Latino experience – including the arts, history, and heritage of their respective cultures.
In 2012, The Mexican Museum became an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The Museum joins over 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama that are in association with the Smithsonian. The Mexican Museum currently has a permanent collection of more than 16,500 objects reflecting Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican, Chicano and Latin American art.
The Mexican Museum, open Thursday – Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., is located at the Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, in San Francisco. Admission is FREE. The Museum offers a wide variety of programs, including Family Sundays, exhibitions, special events, lectures, and public programming throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit: http://www.mexicanmuseum.org or call (415) 202-9700.
The Mexican Museum has begun construction of its permanent home in the heart of the Yerba Buena Gardens Art District, which is expected to open in 2019. People are encouraged to support The Mexican Museum by becoming new members, or by joining the Builder’s Society online or by mailing a check to: The Mexican Museum, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, Building D, San Francisco, CA 94123. For more information on the Builder’s Society, please contact Edgar De Sola at (415) 202-9700 ext. 225.