The Mexican Museum was founded 1975 in San Francisco by Peter Rodriguez, a gay, California-born, Mexican-American painter.
It’s taken over four decades to raise funds and break ground for a permanent location. A lot of work and determination went into accomplishing this.
I attended the morning dedication ceremony near the site of the four-story building that will house a large collection of Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, and Latino art.
The museum initially began in a rented storefront on Folsom Street before moving to its present temporary exhibition space in Fort Mason.
I first heard of Rodriguez and his vision from a neighbor who knew him. Both men were born in Stockton and worked during their lives in visual display. I visited the current museum on a number of occasions. It’s within walking distance of my home.
But I’ve never met the museum founder, who died less than three weeks before the dedication at the age of 90.
The Mexican Museum will stand downtown near several other important art institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, Museum of the African Diaspora, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and perhaps a new GLBT History Museum now taking the first steps in making that a reality.
Executive Director Terry Beswick of the GLBT Historical Society announced the project in a recent Bay Area Reporter editorial. And the most recent society newsletter included a sketch by Alan Martinez, a local architect and former roommate of mine.
Money must be raised in small and large amounts, a location found, and a design presented and approved before anything materializes. Hopefully I’ll be alive to see it!
image & text copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved