Championing Latino Culture

A new home for The Mexican Museum

When San Francisco’s The Mexican Museum dedicated the cornerstone of its new building across from the Museum of Modern Art in July, it was the culmination of more than three years’ work by Andrew Kluger JD ’78.

Kluger led the $63 million effort to construct a new home for the museum, which comprises one of the premiere collections of its kind in the nation — including works by painters Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco.

The museum is a labor of love for the School of Law alumnus, who believes it will contribute to San Francisco’s diversity as well as enhance residents’ and visitors’ knowledge and understanding of Latin American and Chicano culture.

“In particular, I think the new museum is going to help second- and third-generation Americans learn about their heritage,” says Kluger, who’s chairman of the museum’s board of trustees as well as a successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist. 

When completed in spring 2019, The Mexican Museum’s 16,500 pieces of pre-Hispanic, colonial, Mexican, Latin American, and Chicano art will fill four stories and span 56,000 square feet in a new building at the heart of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Garden Arts Center. It’s expected to draw thousands more visitors and exhibit hundreds of additional works, compared to its current 11,000-square-foot Fort Mason location.

Kluger helped guide the museum’s Smithsonian accreditation and won support from art and philanthropy luminaries such as Guadalupe Rivera Martin, Diego Rivera’s daughter; Ann Rockefeller Roberts, daughter of Nelson A. Rockefeller; and actor and director Edward James Olmos.

Kluger was born in Mexico City and moved with his family to San Francisco when he was 13. He graduated from Marina Middle School and Lowell High School. He’s the founder and CEO of Early Bird Alert, a medical technology company; a managing partner of Bluegrass Assisted Living; and CEO of Medical Business Systems, a medical billing company.

During his tenure as museum chairman, he’s built bridges to USF. The Thacher Gallery, for example, has displayed some of the museum’s works, and USF museum studies students have curated those exhibits. Some students have even interned at The Mexican Museum itself.

“Much like the Jesuits, I am a big believer in giving back and working to repair the world,” Kluger says.