Since the late nineteenth century, art museums have played crucial social, political, and economic roles throughout Latin America because of the ways that they structure representation. By means of their architecture, collections, exhibitions, and curatorial practices, Latin American art museums have crafted representations of communities, including nation states, and promoted particular group ideologies. This collection of essays, arranged in thematic sections, will examine the varying and complex functions of art museums in Latin America: as nation-building institutions and instruments of state cultural politics; as foci for the promotion of Latin American modernities and modernisms; as sites of mediation between local and international, private and public interests; as organizations that negotiate cultural construction within the Latin American diaspora and shape constructs of Latin America and its nations; and as venues for the contestation of elitist and Eurocentric notions of culture and the realization of cultural diversity rooted in multiethnic environments.

chapter |13 pages


part I|58 pages

Art Museums and State Politics

chapter 1|14 pages

From Universalist to National Art

Argentina's Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

chapter 2|14 pages

Mexico's Museo de Artes Plásticas

The Divergent Discourses of 1934 and 1947

chapter 3|14 pages

History and Metamorphosis

Cuba's Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

chapter 4|14 pages

Incendiary Objects

An Episodic History of the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro

part II|43 pages

Art Museums as Constructions of Modernity

chapter 5|15 pages

Pedrosa and Malraux

Impossible Meetings in the Museum of Copies

chapter 6|13 pages

A Museum without a Venue

The Invention of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, 1955–1963

chapter 7|13 pages

The Architecture of Mexico's Museo de Arte Moderno

A Stimulus to Museological Renewal

part III|59 pages

Local Dynamics of Internationalism

chapter 8|14 pages

The São Paulo Biennial Complex


chapter 9|12 pages

Local Processes and Transnational Circuits

The Inter-American Project and the Birth of Modern Art Museums in Barranquilla and Cartagena

chapter 10|15 pages

An Uneasy Alliance

The Early Years of the Museo Tamayo

chapter 11|16 pages

Colección Jumex and Mexico's Art Scene

The Intersection of Public and Private

part IV|42 pages

National and Regional Perspectives from the United States

chapter 12|13 pages

Latin American Art at The University of Texas at Austin

The University Art Museum

chapter 13|13 pages

Somehow Exceptional

El Museo del Barrio, New York

chapter 14|14 pages

Museum as Battleground

Exile and Contested Cultural Representation in Miami's Cuban Museum

part V|46 pages

Reimagining the Art Museum

chapter 15|15 pages

Revolutionary Modernism

A "Museo de Arte Moderno Americano" Rehearsed in Print in Mexico City, 1926—1928

chapter 16|15 pages

The Museum in Times of Revolution

Regarding Nemesio Antúnez's Transformation Program for Chile's Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1969–1973

chapter 17|14 pages

Critical Deviations in Latin American Museums

The Experiences of the Museo del Barro in Asunción, Paraguay and the Micromuseo in Lima, Peru