Mi Puerto Rico

Horse Drawn Carriages in Ponce, PouOn April 29th the Museo de Arte de Ponce opened to the public their new exhibition, "Mi Puerto Rico: Los Grandes Maestros de la Pintura, 1780 - 1952". The new exhibit, which will be open through July 29th, explores the evolution of how three painters saw and represented their surroundings over the course of nearly two centuries. Through 47 paintings by José Campeche y Jordán (1751-1809), Francisco Oller y Cestero (1833-1917), Miguel Pou y Becerra (1880-1968), and several of their peers and descendents, this exhibition investigates how these artists contributed to forging a notion of national identity in Puerto Rico.

José Campeche’s elegant, delicate, and refined portraits offer detailed testimonies about the life of the ruling classes in eighteenth-century Puerto Rico. Francisco Oller studied in Madrid and Paris and brought back to Puerto Rico the new developments in painting—Impressionism and Realism— heralded by the European avant-garde. Miguel Pou sought to “reflect the soul of my people” in his genre scenes and majestic views of Puerto Rico’s countryside.

Mi Puerto Rico: Master Painters of the Island, 1780-1952 was organized by Museo de Arte de Ponce and is accompanied by a fully-illustrated bi-lingual catalogue featuring an essay by Cheryl Hartup with the collaboration of Marimar Benítez.

This exhibition has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, and a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.