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The African Presence in México From Yanga to the Present

February 11 – September 3, 2006 Main Gallery
(Detail) Mario Guzmán Oliveres (b. 1975), Encuentro de pueblos negros (The Gathering of Black Towns), 2004, woodcut, NMMA Permanent Collection, 2006.35, photo credit: Michael Tropea

For nearly 500 years, the existence and contributions of the African descendants in Mexico have been overlooked. Almost a century after Africans arrived in Mexico in 1519, Yanga, an African leader, founded the first free African in the Americas (January 6, 1609). Since then, Africans have continued to contribute their cultural, musical, and culinary traditions to Mexican culture through the present day. No exhibition has showcased the history, artistic expressions, and practices of Afro-Mexicans in such broad scope as this one, which includes a comprehensive range of artwork from the 18th Century Colonial Caste Paintings to contemporary artistic expressions.


Anthony Briones, Alejandro García Nelo, Fernando Vázquez Jácome, Dr. Hermenegildo González Fernández, Adolfo Quinteros, Carlos López, Carlos Nebel, Claudio Linati, Rufino Tamayo, Celia Calderón, Francisco Mora, José Justo Montiel, Alberto Beltrán, Agustín V. Casasola, Romualdo García, Joaquín Santamaría, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Mariana Yampolsky, Manuel González de la Parra, Marisela Salas, Arturo Vera Domínguez, Lourdes Almeida, Ron Wilkins, Tony Gleaton, Aydeé Rodriguez Lopez, Hugo Felix Tovar, Olegario Hernandez, Jose de Luna, Antonio Gómez R., Alfredo González, Guillermo Vargas Alberto, Ignacio Canela, Elizabeth Catlett, Francisco Toledo, Roberto Salazar Rodriguez, Mario Guzman Oliveres, Emmanuel Cruz Muñoz, Guillermo Olgin, Maximino Javier, Carlos Cons, Alfred J. Quiroz


Cesáreo Moreno and Sagrario Cruz-Carretero


Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum

Traveling Exhibition Venues

Museo de Historia Mexicana, Monterrey, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, Museo de Arte de Veracruz, Orizaba, Recinto Cultural Ex-Convento Belemita, Veracruz, California African Museum, Los Angeles, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Museo Alameda, San Antonio, Oakland Museum, California, Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum, DC, DuSable African American Museum, Chicago


All images below are a glimpse into the exhibition for those who could not attend in person. Photo Credit: Michael Tropea.

Exhibition Highlights