Located in Chicago, Illinois, the National Museum of Mexican Art aims to connect visitors with the history and culture of Mexican artwork. The museum boasts a collection of more than 10,000 pieces in its permanent collection which spans more than 3,000 years of Mexican culture. Visitors will experience the passion and creativity of the diverse culture through breathtaking displays, expertly organized exhibitions, and knowledgeable curators.


The National Museum of Mexican Art was founded in 1987 through the hard work and dedication of Carlos Tortolero and a group of passionate colleagues. The goal of the group was to establish a cultural and educational haven in the community which highlighted Mexican culture and its positive influence on not only the art world, but the world in general.

Throughout the last few decades, the museum has grown exponentially and now encompasses 48,000-square-feet facility which attracts thousands of visitors each year. It is known as one of the most prominent institutions for Mexican art due to its dedication to showcasing the beauty and richness of Mexican culture through world-class exhibitions and arts education programs.

Permanent Collection:

Ephemera: This part of the permanent collection features more than 230 calendarios, more than 570 vintage postcards representing a large variety of locations and customs in Mexico, and more than 970 posters which document a variety of movies and historical and cultural events.

Folk Art: This part of the permanent collection contains masks, ceramics, carved wood, and papier mache items from all over Mexico. There are approximately 1700 pieces from well-known artists such as Castillo, Horta, and Aguilar.

Painting and Sculpture: This part of the permanent collection features more than 300 distinct works of painting and sculpture from colonial and religious art to more contemporary techniques.

Photography: This part of the permanent collection contains 683 photographs which document the Mexican revolution. Well-known photographers are featured in this collection including Tina Modotti, Mariana Yampolsky, and Hugo Brehme.

Prints and drawings: This part of the permanent collection features more than 3,000 original prints and blocks from artists such as Carlos Cortez and Leopoldo.

Pre-Cuauhtémoc: This part of the permanent collection contains 165 artifacts from a diverse range of Mexican cultures including Maya, Remojadas, Mezcala, Teotihuacan, and Toltec.

Textiles: This part of the permanent collection contains more than 500 textile pieces from various regions. A large variety of outfits, weavings, and embroideries are contained in this collection.

Current Exhibitions:

Nuestras Historias: (Our Histories) This exhibition is open year-round and explores the stories of cultural identity and how it evolves over time and does not remain static. The vast and diverse stories of Mexican identity are told through hundreds of pieces of unique and exciting works. Favorite Mexican artists such as Josefina Aguilar, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Almaraz are featured in this exhibition.

Time to Get Ready: This exhibition features the photographs of civil rights and social justice activist, Maria Varela. Her photographs tell the story of a Catholic high school on the south sde of Chicago during the civil rights movement and how she helped the movement through her powerful images. This exhibition is on display through July 30, 2017 at the Chicago Gallery.

Memoria presente: In celebration of the museum’s 30th anniversary, this exhibition displays the works of artists currently living and working in the Chicago area. It features poetic contemporary works that are reflective of the Chicago-Mexican heritage and community. This exhibition is on display in the Main Gallery until August 13.

Best of Yollo 2017: This exhibition is a collection of artistic works by the young members of the Yollocalli Arts Reach center. The exhibition will be on display in the Courtyard Gallery until August 13, 2017.

West Kings Highway: This exhibition features the works of Cesar A. Martinez and highlights the street on which he has lived for more than 40 years. His continued growth as an artist and relentless creative endeavors are displayed for visitors to enjoy and explore. This exhibition is on display until October 15, 2017.


The Museum prides itself on inspiring generations to love and appreciate the arts. There are a variety of arts education programs for community members of all ages. Attendees can study dance, music, painting, drawing, and art history through the NNMA. For more information on the arts education program at the museum, visit the website.

Additional Information:

The National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608, website, Phone: 312-738-1503

Back to: Chicago, IL

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