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Finding Latina/o Graphic Art

(The Hispanic Reading Room joined forces with the Prints and Photographs Division to explore the Library’s Latina/o visual collections as part of the Finding Pictures webinar series. In this post, Hispanic Reading Room Reference librarian, Dani Thurber reflects on this collaboration and shares the link to the webinar recording for those interested.)

Happy Hispanic Heritage month! Each September 15th – October 15th we celebrate the histories and cultures of peoples who trace their ancestry to the Caribbean, Latin America, and Spain. This year, we have a special treat for users interested in experiencing the Library’s Latina/o visual treasures and learning how to best access them.

My incredible colleague, Curator of the Library’s Fine Prints collections, Katherine Blood and I worked on a special webinar part of the Prints and Photographs Division’s ongoing Finding Pictures series. This time, we delved into the Library’s vast collections of prints, posters, and drawings by contemporary Latina/o artists.

image of poster with womans profile and Puerto Rican Flag

Linda Lucero, artist. ¡Viva Puerto Rico libre!, La Raza Silkscreen Center, c1975. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. LC-DIG-ppmsca-76772. Used by permission of the artist.

Latina/o graphic art has a longstanding association with social advocacy through powerful imagery used to bring awareness to issues affecting Latino communities. The Library’s collection is particularly strong in works by Chicana/o artists who have created many pieces in support of civil rights, workers’ rights, and social equality movements since the 1960s. The newly-digitized and cataloged Mission Gráfica/La Raza Graphics collection showcases this history through striking posters and prints by artists such as Juan Fuentes, Calixto Robles, Alexandra Blum, Art Hazelwood, Jos Sances, and Linda Lucero, all of whom we featured in the webinar.

We also highlighted recent additions to the Library’s collections, such as works by Dignidad Rebelde’s Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza, Favianna Rodriguez, Michael Menchaca, and Luis-Genaro Garcia. Notably, as a result of connecting with artists when putting together the webinar, Katherine and I recently hosted artist Luis-Genaro Garcia at the Hispanic Reading Room, who generously shared with us his process and inspiration behind his powerful print Coatlicue’s legacy.

reproduction of mixed media art

Luis-Genaro Garcia, artist. Coatlicue’s legacy. Self Help Graphics, 2018. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. LC-DIG-ppmsca-74758. Used by permission of the artist.

photo of artists standing in front of display

Artist Luis-Genaro Garcia visiting the Hispanic Reading Room on Thursday, September 29th. Photographed by Giselle Aviles with works from the Prints & Photographs Division Self Help Graphics collection including Luis’s “Coatlicue’s Legacy” as well as works by Anjelica Becerra, Alvaro D. Marquez, Kimberly Robertson, and Luis’s collaborative work with Lilia Ramirez.

The second part of the webinar consists of search strategies to help users more easily navigate the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog when searching specifically for Latina/o artists and images. Lastly, we share a plethora of related online resources such as Research Guides and the Library’s La Biblioteca podcast.

Check out the full webinar here (YouTube), and as always, reach out to us via Ask a Librarian for any questions on the Library’s visual collections and/or Latina/o resources.


Discover more
Library of Congress Research Guides organized by research topic and collections – these include both online materials, and materials only available on site. The guides related to Hispanic American Studies can be found here. Guides by the Prints and Photographs Division can be found here.

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