The Mexican Museum announced today the appointment of David J. de la Torre as the Museum’s new Director. De la Torre succeeds Dr. Jonathan L. Yorba who left in December 2012. Dr Yorba left just as the Mexican Museum started planning for their new 40,000 building in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Cultural District.
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 Museum’s 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 Museum’s 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 Museum’s Collections Inventory and Access (CIA) project which involves cataloguing and imaging every object in the permanent collection. The museum’s 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.
De la Torre is organizing the Gem Series of special exhibitions at the museum’s current site at Fort Mason Center. Upcoming exhibitions will 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.