Smithsonian American Art Museum

July 26, 2021 8th and G Streets, Washington, DC 20001, USA

Though I had visited the museum many times before, its massive size and ever-shifting array of exhibitions means there is always more than enough to explore. In addition to the excitement of exploring an entirely new section of the museum as well as admiring the famous portraits, I especially enjoyed the exhibition entitled ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now, in which activists used artistic expression to advocate for civil rights and further social justice movements. Below is an excerpt that summarizes the artwork in the exhibition, as written on the website.

In the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. ¡Printing the Revolution! explores the rise of Chicano graphics within these early social movements and the ways in which Chicanx artists since then have advanced innovative printmaking practices attuned to social justice.

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