Arts & culture, Research, Humanities, Visual arts

Berkeley’s CLAS, Mexican Museum in new cultural partnership

By Thomas Levy

The Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley has formed a partnership with the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, a Smithsonian affiliate, to bring innovative cultural programming to a wider audience in the Bay Area and throughout California.

“We at the center look forward to providing a link between all the cultural vitality of the UC Berkeley campus and the exceptional collections, cultural experience and people of the Mexican Museum,” said Berkeley professor Harley Shaiken, the center’s director, in a press release.

An artist's rendering of what The Mexican Museum in San Francisco will look like once it's completed in 2017.

An artist’s rendering of what the Mexican Museum in San Francisco will look like once it’s completed in 2017. (Courtesy of the Mexican Museum.)

Past featured artists and speakers of the center have included former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass together with artist Fernando Botero, discussing Botero’s work as part of a center-sponsored exhibit of his Abu Ghraib paintings; an appearance by legendary Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil; and a presentation on the murals of Diego Rivera by Graham W.J. Beal, director of the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

“We are very excited about this tremendous partnership between the Mexican Museum and the Center for Latin American Studies,” said Andrew Kluger, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees. “Our goal is to link the intellectual vitality of their program with the extraordinary richness of what the museum offers.”

Founded in 1975 by San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez in the city’s Mission District, the museum is now located at Fort Mason Center. Starting in 2017 it will be housed in a new building in Yerba Buena Center.

Its unique collection of more than 14,000 art objects includes Pre-Hispanic, colonial, popular, modern and contemporary Mexican, Latino and Chicano art.