SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Mexican Museum
announced today the appointment of David J. de la Torre as the Museums new Director. De la Torre succeeds Dr. Jonathan L. Yorba who announced in mid -December that he had accepted a position as President/CEO for The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
For the past two years de la Torre has served The Mexican Museum as its Adjunct Curator of Visual Arts. His involvement with the museum goes back to 1975 when he was a graduate student intern. In the 1980s he served as The Mexican Museums Executive Director. During this time he was instrumental in securing the Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection of Mexican Folk Art and the Andy Williams Collection of Pre-Hispanic Art, among other major gifts to the Museums permanent collections.
In addition, de la Torre has organized numerous exhibitions on Mexican and Mexican American culture. These special exhibitions included highly popular projects on Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Carmen Lomas Garza and Rupert Garcia, among others.
Most recently, he played a leadership role with the Museums Collections Inventory and Access (CIA) project which involves cataloguing and imaging every object in the permanent collection. The museums holdings, now totaling more than 14,000 artifacts, represent five main collecting areas: Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art.
Prior to returning to The Mexican Museum as Adjunct Curator, de la Torre served as Associate Director of the Honolulu Museum of Art, Director of the Hawaii State Art Museum and Executive Director of the Mission Houses Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii.
As we continue working and preparing for our new building in the Yerba Buena Arts District, we are thrilled David will be leading us to the next stage. His knowledge of museums as well as his passion and history with The Mexican Museum will surely catapult us to a new level of excellence, said Mario Diaz, Museum Board Chair.
The Mexican Museum has always held a special place in my heart. I am truly honored the board of trustees have chosen me to lead the museum at this critical time in its history. I am committed to continuing the tradition of presenting high quality special exhibitions and public programs that showcase the richness of Latino art and culture for all to enjoy, said de la Torre.
De la Torre is organizing the Gem Series of special exhibitions at the museums current site at Fort Mason Center. Upcoming exhibitions include:
· An Inspired Gift: The Rex May Collection of Mexican Popular Art, scheduled to open to the public on April 26, 2013.
· Plates, Screens and Stones: Latino Printmaking Traditions 1910-1980 scheduled to open to the public on September 23, 2013.
· Bitter Sweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964, Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition scheduled to open next year.
These types of exhibits and programs are all in keeping with the mission statement of The Mexican Museum which states: The soul and spirit of the arts and culture of Mexico and the Americas are fundamentally linked. Through its programs, The Mexican Museum voices the complexity and richness of Latino art throughout the Americas, encouraging dialogue among the broadcast public.
De la Torre received his professional training at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He earned an MA in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University and his BA in Government from the University of San Francisco. He is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management. In 2001, he received the JFKU Alumnus of the Year award for his contributions to the museum field. De la Torre currently serves on the Board of Directors of the US National Committee for the International Council of Museums.