Latin American Art

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art has one of the most comprehensive collections of Latin American art in the United States. The collection spans 4,000 years and contains paintings, sculpture, works on paper and other objects from Mexico, Central America, South America and countries of the Caribbean. It also contains an important collection of Spanish folk art from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.   

The beginning of the Latin American collection goes back to the 1920s when the art collection was part of the San Antonio Museum Association located at what is now the Witte Museum. In 1981, when the Museum of Art opened in a new and separate complex, special galleries were dedicated to Pre-Columbian and Spanish art. In 1998, the Museum inaugurated the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art, a 30,000-square-foot building dedicated exclusively to Latin American art. The Pre-Columbian art gallery is comprised of three main sections, Mesoamerica, Central America and the Andes, each arranged in chronological order. The Spanish Colonial/Republican gallery includes paintings, sculpture, silver, furniture, ceramics and textiles from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and other parts of Latin America, as well as important paintings and decorative objects from the Republican Period of the nineteenth century. The Modern/Contemporary gallery features contemporary work from all over Latin America; highlights include excellent paintings from the Social Realism movement in Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century and good examples of work by leading members of the School of the South, centered in Uruguay. Finally, the Latin American Folk Art gallery contains one of the most important collections of its type in the world and is divided according to function.

Miguel Herrera, Eighteenth Century

Dona Maria de la Luz Anna Margarita Marcota


Miguel HerreraMexican (1700-1789)Dona Maria de la Luz Anna Margarita Marcota, 1778oil on canvas20 1/2 x 15 in. Purchased with The...

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Mrs. H.G. Ward

Interior of an Indian Hut

Photograph by Peggy Tenison Mrs. H.G. WardEnglish (1798-1882) Interior of an Indian Hut, 1828
Etching on paper 8 1/2 x 11 3/4...

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Bifacial Plaque with Tresses

Nazca culture, Peru, 200–400

Bifacial Plaque with TressesNazca culture, Peru, 200–400Goldh. 6 in. (15.2 cm); w. 9 in. (22.9 cm)Gift of Mr. and Mrs....

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Stirrup Vessel with Ritual Runners

Moche culture, Peru, 400–600

Stirrup Vessel with Ritual RunnersMoche culture, Peru, 400–600Earthenware with slip and pigmenth. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm); diam. 5 1/2...

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Ceremonial Metate with Jaguar Motif

Costa Rica, Atlantic Watershed region, circa 800

Ceremonial Metate with Jaguar MotifCosta Rica, Atlantic Watershed region, circa 800Basalth. 15 in. (38.1 cm); w. 28 in. (71.1 cm);...

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Vessel in the Form of a Warrior with Arms Crossed

Maya culture, Guatemala, Tikal region, 300–500

Vessel in the Form of a Warrior with Arms CrossedMaya culture, Guatemala, Tikal region, 300–500Earthenware with sliph. 11 1/2 in....

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Platter with a Seated Nobleman

Maya culture, Guatemala, Northern Petén, circa 600

Platter with a Seated NoblemanMaya culture, Guatemala, Northern Petén, circa 600Earthenware with pigments h. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm); diam....

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Yoke with Reptilian Motif

Huastec culture, Mexico, Veracruz, 600–900

Yoke with Reptilian MotifHuastec culture, Mexico, Veracruz, 600–900Stone with mother-of-pearl inlayh. 14 3/4 in. (12.0 cm); w. 16 1/2 in....

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Atlantean Figure

Maya or Toltec culture, Mexico, Yucatán, 900–1150

Atlantean FigureMaya or Toltec culture, Mexico, Yucatán, 900–1150Limestone with traces of pigmenth. 26 1/2 in. (67.3 cm); w. 16 in....

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Mask

Mixtec culture, Mexico, Oaxacan Highlands, circa 1500

MaskMixtec culture, Mexico, Oaxacan Highlands, circa 1500Wood with turquoise, mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshellh. 6 in. (15.2 cm); w. 5 in. (12.7...

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