Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Galería De La Raza Archives
Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 4
University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections, California Ethnic and Multicultural
Language of Material:
37.5 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1969-2000
Administrative records, programs, subject files, correspondence, clippings, slides, photographs, serigraphs, posters, silkscreen
prints, ephemera and other creative materials documenting activities of the San Francisco Bay Area Chicano cultural arts center.
Includes work by many of the prominent Chicano(a)/Latino(a) artists, such as Juana Alicia, Rodolfo (Rudy) Cuellar, Alfredo
De Batuc, Ricardo Favela, Gilbert Luján (Magu), Ralph Maradiaga, Juanishi Orosco, Irene Pérez, Patricia Rodríguez, and René
Yañez. (CEMA 4).
General Physical Description note:
37.5 linear feet, ten albums of 2,737 slides, and 467 silkscreen prints and posters
Written authorization from La Galería de la Raza needed for duplication of any portion of the collection. Being amended by
GDLR to conform to standard language used now.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
CEMA 4, Department of Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Donated by Galería de la Raza, 1986
Galería de la Raza (GDLR) is a non-profit community arts organization that promotes Chicano and Latino art and culture in
the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Founded in 1970, the GDLR was, like many other such
centros, a product of the Chicano civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The movement called for artistic emphasis on everyday
lives and on community activities of the Chicano/Latino people. These principles guided the GDLR and set it apart from mainstream
art organizations in terms of philosophy and organization. Throughout its history, the GDLR has striven not only to make art
accessible to the community, especially in the largely Chicano/Latino Mission District of San Francisco, but also to involve
the public in the very creation of art works. The origin of the GDLR can be traced to a Spring 1969 exhibition in Oakland,
"New Symbols for La Nueva Raza," by the Mexican American Liberation Art Front (MALAF). Aimed at "integrating art into the
Chicano social revolution sweeping the country," MALAF brought together four Chicano/Latino artists, Esteban Villa, Manuel
Hernandez, Malaquias Montoya, and René Yañez. In 1970, a larger group established the Galería de la Raza as an artistic collective,
on 14th Street in San Francisco's Mission District. Members of that group included Rupert García, Peter Rodríguez, Francisco
Camplis, Peter Rodriguez, Graciela Carrillo, Jerry Concha, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Carlos Loarca, Manuelo Villamor, Robert González,
Luis Cervantez, Chuy Campusano, Rolando Castellón, Ralph Maradiaga, and René Yañez. Later, Maradiaga became the administrative
director and Yañez the artistic director. In 1972, GDLR moved to its present location on 24th Street at Bryant Street in the
Mission District. In 1985, Humberto Cintrón became administrative director following Maradiaga's death. Enrique Chagoya succeeded
Yañez in 1987 as artistic director. In 1990, María Pinedo became executive director of the GDLR, and was succeeded in 1993
by Liz Lerma. She was followed by Gloria Jaramillo in 1995, and by Carolina Ponce de Leon in 1999. In its first decade, the
GDLR devoted itself to reclaiming the images and practices of popular Mexican/Latino traditions. It helped introduce and popularize
the Mexican artist and political activist Frida Kahlo and the celebration of
El Día de los Muertos ("The Day of the Dead"). In 1980, the GDLR started its second decade with the founding of Studio 24, a gift store. Studio
24 has served as a means to generate revenue for the GDLR in face of cuts in federal funds for arts, and as an experiment
in a new form of community art organization. During the 1980s, the GDLR expanded its international coverage, with exhibitions
on the crises in South Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America. The GDLR has in the early 1990s further expanded its commitment
to the Chicano/Latino community by focusing on not only race, but also gender and sexual identity. In 1995, the GDLR launched
the (Re)Generation Project with a variety of programs, to celebrate its 25th anniversary and to promote inter-generational
dialogs among Chicano(a)/Latino(a) artists. Also that year it mounted a retrospective exhibition "The Defiant Eye" at San
Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens, curated by Teresita Romo.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Galería de la Raza Collection (GDLR) consists of nine series distributed among 68 archival boxes that occupy about 37.5
linear feet of space. Also, there are 304 silkscreen prints, housed in flat metal cabinets, and 2,737 slides slides in 10
albums. There are separate guides to the silkscreen prints and the slides. The archival material includes business records,
grant applications, exhibition descriptions and flyers, correspondence, miscellaneous publications and photographs. They cover
the period of 1969-1996. The early years of the GDLR are minimally represented due to fire loss and accidental disposal prior
to their arrival in CEMA. The collection is divided into nine series. Within each series, folders (and boxes) generally follow
the alphabetical order of the titles that were assigned to them by the GDLR. Folders with the same subject are usually arranged
either alphabetically or chronologically
Series I: Administrative Records, 1971-1985. The series consists of two subseries and is housed in 13 archival boxes. The first subseries,
History, Staff, and Organization 1971-1985, includes documents from the earliest period of the GDLR, information about its staff, and several re-organization efforts.
The second subseries,
Business and Financial Records, 1976-1984, consists of tax returns, budgets, some business transactions, and payroll journals. The records provide information about
the efforts by the GDLR and Studio 24 to develop a self-sustaining route as a non-profit community arts organization.
The third subseries,
Grants, 1976-1986, includes grant applications and award (or rejection) letters that document the successes and failures of the GDLR in seeking
support from governmental funding agencies and private philanthropies. The National Endowment for the Arts and the California
Arts Council were among the major sources of such grants. Most of the grant applications were for GDLR's own projects and
programs. Sometimes, GDLR acted as fiscal agent to apply for grants on behalf of other organizations or individuals. In those
cases, the folder titles identify these organizations and individuals, in contrast to the majority of folders in this subseries
where titles follow the funding agencies. The grant applications usually include valuable information about the GDLR’s activities
as GDLR summarized its various programs in the grant proposal narratives.
Series II: Programs, 1968-1989. The second series consists of three subseries. The first subseries,
Exhibitions, 1968-1989, is the largest subseries and the heart of the archival material in the collection. It encompasses a variety of materials
associated with the set up of exhibitions at GDLR, including correspondence, floor plans, brochures and flyers, exhibition
catalogs, photographs of the art works and of the exhibition scenes, introductions, captions, news clippings, and guest comments.
They are a rich source of information on the artistic activities at GDLR and beyond.
The second subseries
Exhibitions Supplement (1982 – 1996) was retrieved in 1999 and expands on the materials related to exhibitions held at Galeria de La Raza. Because of its late
retrieval date, the boxes numbered 53–68, are included in the exhibition subseries out of sequence to better reflect their
Series II. The
Exhibitions Supplement contains collected documentation for exhibitions from 1982 to 1996. The subseries is arranged chronologically, according
to subject, to the folder level. Within each folder, the order is generally established by the donor and depending on the
subject matter of the exhibition, will be found in the following arrangement: 1) Announcements, including press releases and
public service announcements (PSA) for radio. 2) Art originals for announcement brochures and invitations. 3) Artists’ backgrounds,
resumes or statements. 4) Correspondence related to the exhibition. 5) Lists of art in the show, gift agreements, loan agreements,
condition reports, pricelists, etc. 6) Publicity: news clippings and tear sheets. 7) Originals, including slides, photos and
negatives as well as some original art contributions. 8) Research: related material to the exhibition, background material
on subjects or artists. 9) Miscellaneous items not easily characterized otherwise.
The third subseries,
Exhibitions Supplement II 1967-1999 is contained in 18 oversize boxes and stored among the oversize section of CEMA. The subseries is arranged chronologically
with not dated materials placed in the beginning. The largest section of the subseries
Earthquake in Mexico: Tragedy and Hope. February 21-March 29 1986, covers the 1986 Mexican earthquake and contains an alphabetically arranged listing of artists who photographed the event
and were subsequently displayed at the Galería. Cross references have been added throughout the guide to exhibitions or artist’s
work that is included within this subseries. This subseries is primarily visual arts, and photography and does not include
documentation for the many exhibitions it covers. Any information available from the images has been listed in this subseries.
The third subseries,
Special Programs, 1972-1984, covers non-exhibition events at GDLR, such as workshops, receptions, festivals, classes, and contests. Although small in
volume, this subseries shows the community service aspects of the GDLR.
Series III: Subject Files, 1966-1986. Series III includes reports, papers, publications, application materials, and other documents related to non-GDLR organizations
and events not directly sponsored by the GDLR. These materials represent the GDLR's professional networking activities and
its social and political environments.
Series IV: Correspondence, 1973-1987. Series IV contains both incoming and outgoing letters that were not integrated within the other series. These include inquiries
to the GDLR and letters of recommendation and support, both from and for the GDLR. Unfortunately, due to a fire during the
early years and later in 1985 due to the disposal of Maradiaga's papers by family members immediately following his death,
the correspondence series is a very small one. Maradiaga had been custodian of the GDLR’s earlier records. Much valuable correspondence
can be found, however, in the other series, such as the subseries on exhibitions.
Series V: Clippings, Publications, and Flyers 1969-1987. Series V contains various clippings on GDLR and its programs from newspapers and magazines, publications by other organizations,
publicity and announcement flyers for GDLR exhibitions, and catalogs. Like the subject files, these materials provide glimpses
of the GDLR's interactions with the community and its social and professional environment.
Series VI: Photographs, 1970-2003 Series VI contains a small collection of miscellaneous photographs that were not connected to any of the specific GDLR projects.
Series VII: Graphic Arts Collection, 1973-1985 The series contains an oversize box of posters, newspaper articles, catalogs, and various artwork revolving around GDLR.
Series VIII: Slides, 1910-1996, bulk of the slides are from 1969-1996 The series consist of about 1000 indigenous Chicano art slides categorized into 10 subseries: Assemblage, Center Activities
and Programs, Drawings, Graphic Arts, Installation Art, Murals, Paintings, Performance and Conceptual Art, Photography, and
Series IX: Silkscreens, 1969-1993 This series contains 467 silkscreens all organized by the artist's last name.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Art, American -- California -- 20th century
Galeria de la Raza Archives
Mexican American artists -- California
Slides (Photography) -- Catalogs.