Reflections of the History of Puerto Rico in Art: 1751-1950 is a publication of the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras campus. Sponsored by the Puerto Rican Endowment for the Humanities, it is part of the museum’s exhibition of the same title.
The book includes texts accompanied by images of some 135 works by Puerto Rican artists. It has a dual pedagogical dynamic: on one hand, to share historical knowledge about Puerto Rico and, on the other, to present an approach to the history of artistic expression through appreciation of landscapes, still lifes, farmsteads, portraits, industries and customs, among other topics. The images are shown in paintings, lithographs, engravings, serigraphs and mosaics. The book’s focus provides an understanding of the social, economic, political and cultural circumstances that framed the emergence of the artistic work, the concept of its creation and the life of the artist.
According to the project director, Marichal “…the objective of this project is pedagogical and is focused on giving teachers, from fourth grade to senior year, a didactic medium that allows them to teach our children and youths how they can study and interpret our past through works created by various artists.” The publication includes a CD with educational guides as a resource for teachers in the classroom and the images used in the book.
The publication develops themes such as The Indigenous Society of Boriquén, The English Attack on San Juan: 1797, The Cry of Lares and From Agriculture to Industrialization. Among the images included are The Wake by Francisco Oller y Cestero, Lady on Horseback by José Campeche y Jordán, The Abolition of Slavery by Rafael Tufiño Figueroa, Surveying by Ramón Frade León, and many others. Copies of the book are available at the Endowment.
Text adapted from the publication