USF Partners with The Mexican Museum to Present Latin American Art Exhibition ¡Escultura!

Exhibition to showcase beautiful, historically-significant bronze and steel sculptures from Feb. 3-Dec. 12

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The University of San Francisco (USF) and The Mexican Museum are partnering to present ¡Escultura!, a collection of metal sculptures by renowned Latino and Mexican artists that will be on display at USF from February 3 through December 12, 2014. The exhibition will be located on USF’s Rooftop Sculpture Terrace, on the third floor of Kalmanovitz Hall in the center of campus. The sculpture terrace is free and open to the public weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Presented in collaboration with The Mexican Museum and USF's new Master of Arts in Museum Studies Program, ¡Escultura! features eight iconic bronze and steel sculptures culled from The Mexican Museum’s impressive collection of more than 14,000 objects. These sculptures reveal the strong influence that pre-Columbian art had on cubism and late 20th century figurative sculpture. Images are available upon request.

Among the featured artists are Francisco Zúñiga, Felipe Castañeda, José Luis Cuevas, Jorge Duron, and Armando Amaya, most of whom studied at the acclaimed La Esmeralda in Mexico City. Their art presents female archetypes that strongly reference Mesoamerican forms. Also included are sculptures by Manuel Neri, Byron Galvez, and Gunther Gerzso, artists who formed abstract rather than realistic figures. Together, these sculptures offer a survey of 20th century Latin American sculpture that emanates from rich tradition and explores human emotion.

“We are very pleased to be in partnership with USF on this important project,” said David J. de la Torre, director of The Mexican Museum. “The group of eight metal sculptures on exhibition represents some of the finest works in the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit is a must-see for Bay Area residents and visitors.”

¡Escultura! marks a first for a new major Museum acquisition, Bicefala by José Luis Cuevas, which has never been shown in public before. Maternidad by Francisco Zúñiga was given to the Museum early on its history and has been a signature piece since 1977. The Manuel Neri standing figure, which joined the Museum’s collection in 1980, is one of the artist’s most important works of art.

¡Escultura! is a collaboration between The Mexican Museum and USF’s Thacher Gallery and Masters in Museum Studies Program. It is also the first in a series of projects between the two organizations. USF’s recently-launched Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Museum Studies is designed for entry-level and emerging museum professionals as well as professionals from other fields wishing to pursue a career in the museum field. The program prepares its graduates for positions in leadership in artistic, cultural, educational, and heritage organizations, and for long-term professional growth.

"The partnership between USF and The Mexican Museum represents a healthy sharing of resources that comes to both institutions at the perfect time," said Glori Simmons, director of USF’s Thacher Gallery, the on-campus gallery committed to presenting a range of artistic media and expression. "USF students will gain hands-on experience working with the Museum’s collection, while Museum staff explores ways to exhibit pieces they are not usually able to show. With a yearlong exhibit, we can also provide a steady flow of dynamic programs."

The following ¡Escultura! programs and events are free and open to the public and media:

  • Grand Opening Reception - Tuesday, Feb. 11, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.; Kalmanovitz Hall Rooftop Sculpture Terrace.
  • Thacher Thursday Pop-Up: ¡Escultura! - Thursday, Feb. 13, Noon-1:00 p.m., Kalmanovitz Hall Rooftop Sculpture Terrace; a hands-on introduction led by students in USF’s Master of Arts in Museum Studies Program (co-sponsored by the Thacher Gallery and USF’s Masters of Arts in Museum Studies Program).
  • The Mexican Museum Lecture: From Community Roots to Major Art Museum - Tuesday, Mar. 4, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., McLaren 250; lecturer David J. de la Torre, director of The Mexican Museum, will trace the history of The Mexican Museum - from a community-based arts organization to one that is on a trajectory for becoming a major American arts institution for the serious study of Latino arts and culture - and the history, challenges and benefits of creating a first voice arts institution.

The USF campus can be easily entered at Fulton and Cole, Parker and McAllister, and Golden Gate and Temescal. For more information on the Kalmanovitz Hall Rooftop Sculpture Terrace, please visit

About the Mexican Museum
The Mexican Museum, initially located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, was founded in 1975 by San Francisco resident and artist, Peter Rodríguez. The Museum was the realization of Mr. Rodríguez’s vision that an institution be created in the United States to exhibit the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican-American people. Today, the Museum’s vision has expanded to reflect the evolving scope of the Mexican, Chicano, and Latino experience. In 2012, The Mexican Museum became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the nation’s largest museum network, and currently has a permanent collection of more than 14,000 objects reflecting Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican, Mexican-American, Latin American, Latino, and Chicano art. For more information, please

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and stunning cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.”  For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

Victoria Sanchez De Alba for The Mexican Museum
De Alba Communications
(650) 270-7810 /

Anne-Marie Devine
USF Senior Director of Media Relations
(415) 422-2697 /