The Mexican Museum Upgraded to Smithsonian Status

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Many of you may not even be aware of this, but San Francisco actually has a Mexican Museum with a spectacular collection of pre-Columbian, colonial, folk, contemporary, and Chicano art including pieces from artists like Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and Jose Orozco. Unfortunately, though, almost nobody ever gets to view the collection due to its lack of a permanent location.

Museum buffs finally received a reason to celebrate late last year as ground was broken at the new permanent location near the Yuerba Buena Arts District (a relocation process that has taken about16 years);  although the museum isn’t scheduled to reopen in its new location until 2016, this past Tuesday, art lovers received another reason to rejoice because the Mexican Museum was named as San Francisco’s first and only affiliate of the Smithsonian institute, allowing long-term lend/borrow access within a 160-member collection network estimated at 136 million pieces. This means that the museum’s already impressing offerings can only improve.

Originally founded in the Mission District in 1975, the Mexican Museum was recently reopened in its temporary location in Fort Mason after a disappointing failed attempt to relocate the museum to a 6-story 55.000 sq-ft building designed by the revered architect Ricardo Legorreta. The museum is home to a collection of over 12,000 unique objects representing thousands of years of Mexican art and culture within the Americas including the Tequila Don Julio Collection Exhibit currently on display. Its new permanent location is slated to be a 40,000 square foot downtown facility at the bottom of a 220-unit condo project building located near the Yuerba Buena Arts District at 706 Mission St.