An Undocumented History
A Survey of Index Citations for Latino and Latina Artists

Rita González


CSRC Research Report, Number 2
August 2003

Emerging out of the civil rights struggles of the 1950s to the 1970s, Latina/o artists created both institutions and artwork in the service of their communities. The institutions included nearly a dozen art museums and several hundred grupos, centros, and galerias nationwide. The artwork provided the visual vocabulary for social protest, cultural identity, and historical awareness. In addition to representing community-based political activism, Latina/o art challenged and engaged the art world, promoting changes in historiography, influencing contemporary debates, and validating new practices. Despite these accomplishments, Latino artists and institutions have yet to be adequately integrated into art historical scholarship. Our findings reveal a significant lack of literature on active and successful Latino artists. Attempts to highlight the contributions of Latina/o artists have been made in digital databases, exhibition catalogs, survey histories, and reference encyclopedias. Recent book-length studies have explored the politics of exhibition as related to Latino art and arts spaces (see fig. 3). However, few monograph publications and scholarly articles detail the work of individual artists.