An Exploration of Latino Art at the Smithsonian

Vaquero, a larger-than-life sculpture by Luis Jiménez, which stands just outside an entrance to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is impossible to miss. It depicts a colorful Mexican cowboy firing his pistol while riding a bucking blue horse that seems about to leap onto the museum’s steps. Added to our collection in 1990, it’s a strong nod to the long-standing and growing impact of Latino American artists on our culture—a contribution that has often been overlooked. An exhibition opening this month at the museum, “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art,” will highlight a chapter of art history that remains a secret to far too many Americans.

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