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Museo del Barrio

Museo del Barrio (119)

North of the famous Museum Mile, there is a space with a fully Latin touch. In fact, it is located in what is called El Barrio, just as the name implies. Yes, in Spanish. Indeed, East Harlem is the district in New York where most Latin Americans live, especially those from Puerto Rico.

El Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 by Raphael Montañez Ortiz and a group of artists, educators and other popular leaders. All of them were Latin Americans. Thus, artworks and antiques from Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean are exhibited here.

Born in Brooklyn in 1934, Raphael Montañez Ortiz was the central figure of Destructivism in the late 1950s and has transcended with his destroyed works, made from materials such as recycled films, sculptures, as well as performances and other actions. Already in the 80s, he devoted himself to digital art and has exhibited in different galleries and museums in several countries.

The Museum features a permanent collection of over 6,500 items spanning more than 800 years of Latino history. From pre-Columbian items to modern facilities, from documentary photography to sculpture, etc. If it is from Latin America, there is a place for it here.

On the one hand, we recommend not to miss the pre-Columbian archaeological gems, such as the ceramics from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, belonging to the Taino culture, which apparently disappeared following the arrival of the Spaniards in 1492. Although this culture is not as well-known as the Mayan, Aztec and Incan, it prevailed on the Caribbean islands, such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, more than 3,000 years ago up to the 16th century.

On the other hand, we recommend paying special attention to the works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries by Latino artists who are riding high. Pure avant-garde.

Do not miss taking a snack at El Café either. It opens Wednesdays through Sundays and offers Latin American delicacies, such as burritos, empanadas or mariquitas, which is simply fried banana into very thin slices.

Undoubtedly, El Museo del Barrio leaves all visitors very satisfied.

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