Paintings by legendary Puerto Rican artists José Campeche and Francisco Oller will be presented in dialogue with art from the same period in the MFA’s collection
MAP continues to share its collection with museums worldwide as it rebuilds its Edward Durell Stone-designed building damaged by the January 2020 earthquakes
BOSTON (June 20, 2023)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and the Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) jointly announce that important works by José Campeche y Jordán (1751-1809) and Francisco Oller y Cestero (1833-1917)—the most influential Puerto Rican artists of the 18th and 19th centuries—will be displayed at the MFA beginning June 29, 2023. This special installation will feature five paintings by Campeche and Oller from MAP’s collection, including one of the most iconic works in the history of Puerto Rican art, Campeche’s Lady on Horseback (1785). Oller’s famed Hacienda Aurora (1898), as well as two rare paintings on ceramic plates, will open conversations about histories of the Puerto Rican landscape and artistic exchanges across Europe and the Americas.
“This partnership with the Museo de Arte de Ponce creates an unprecedented opportunity for us to introduce our audiences to Campeche and Oller, two deeply significant Puerto Rican painters who remain understudied outside of the island,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “Displayed in our Art of the Americas Wing alongside important works of colonial art and landscape painting from our collection, these special loans from MAP will highlight the contributions of Puerto Rican artists and offer a new point of connection for Boston’s vibrant Puerto Rican community.”
The paintings will be highlighted during tours at the MFA’s annual Latinx Heritage Night on September 21 as well as additional programs to be announced at a later time.
The collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce consists of approximately 4,500 works of art and is recognized for important examples of Baroque, Pre-Raphaelite, and Victorian art. The renowned collection of Puerto Rican art makes up about one-third of the museum’s holdings, including works from the 18th to 21st centuries. Following a catastrophic series of earthquakes in January 2020, which damaged the internationally recognized Edward Durell Stone-designed building, the main galleries of MAP have remained closed to the public.
As the galleries are rebuilt, MAP remains committed to keeping the collection accessible through collaborations with institutions on the island and beyond. In New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently displaying five Victorian masterpieces, including Flaming June by Frederic Leighton, John Everet Millais’s The Escape of a Heretic, 1559, and Edward Burne-Jones’s Small Briar Rose series. From September 2022 to June 2023, Chicago’s National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture exhibited Nostalgia for My Island: Puerto Rican Painting from the Museo do Arte de Ponce (1786-1962). Additional loans are expected to be announced in other major cities in the United States, as well as in Europe.
“Not only is the museum a cultural institution ingrained in the fabric of Puerto Rican society, but it is also internationally renowned because of the extraordinary collections it houses, “said Cheryl Hartup, Director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce. “When the works travel, a conversation is created within the ecosystem of international art institutions and their collections and audiences. We couldn’t be more thrilled to share iconic paintings by Puerto Rican artists with the MFA, Boston as the museum is repaired.”
The Museo de Arte de Ponce expects to fully reopen in 2024.
About Museo de Arte de Ponce
The Museo de Arte de Ponce has one of the most important collections of Victorian art outside of the United Kingdom. Luis A. Ferré, the museum’s visionary founder, brought together an extraordinary and highly personal collection of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art between 1959 and 1974. At the time, these works were out of fashion, but Ferré’s strategy was to buy works of quality, irrespective of their popularity in the market, and to trust his eye and intuition. Today, the Museo de Arte de Ponce is internationally recognized as a leading art museum with an outstanding collection of Victorian paintings, a remarkable group of Baroque paintings, and extensive holdings of Puerto Rican art from the 18th to the 21st century. For over six decades, the museum has excelled in the areas of research, conservation, and education, connecting the community and its visitors with the arts. Read more at museoarteponce.org.
About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The MFA brings many worlds together through art. Showcasing masterpieces from ancient to modern, our renowned collection of nearly 500,000 works tells a multifaceted story of the human experience—a story that holds unique meaning for everyone. From Boston locals to international travelers, visitors from all over come to experience the MFA—where they reveal connections, explore differences and create a community where all belong. Plan your visit at mfa.org.