Thursday, May 2, 2024

Exploring patrimony at the Museo de las Americas


Voyages by Imna Arroyo Cora


One of my favorite places to visit in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the Museo de las Americas. Located in the Cuartel de Ballajá, the old barracks, just outside of El Morro, the museum presents a look at the of the island and of all of Latin America. I have visited on several occasions, and you can read about their permanent exhibits here.


This fall I had the opportunity to see two exhibitions of works by contemporary artists of Puerto Rican descent. The first was Quién Profanó la Mansión Georgetti? (Who Desecrated the Georgetti Mansion?) by Eddie Faraioli (b. 1950). 


Eduardo Georgetti


Eduardo Georgetti (1866-1937) was the son of a family of landowners, and he became one of the largest sugar barons in Puerto Rico. In 1923 he had a mansion built in the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan. At the time it was considered on of the greatest mansions in the Caribbean. Georgette died in 1937, and his wife in 1938. In 1955, the mansion was turned in to a hospital, and in 1971 it was demolished to build apartments.

Georgetti Mansion

Faraioli uses doors and window frames salvaged from the mansion to create artwork that connects the lost patrimony of the house with the natural resources of Puerto Rico. He makes a visual argument that the history of the and culture of the island, both man-made and natural, and intertwined in the lives and hearts of it people, and that both must be protected.


Pana II


Guardiana del Bosque

Meninas, from Left - Los Platanos, Las Amapolas, Frida Kahlo, Flores Rojas

Platano Azul

Also on exhibit is Travesías (Crossings) by Imna Arroyo Caro (b. 1951). Ms. Arroyo Caro has said “My work explores the different manifestations of nature, spirit and beliefs of African ancestors; gives voice to their stories; activating both physical and spiritual spaces.” The works here were inspired by a visit to Brazil, where Imna began the spiritual exploration of connections to the enslaved Africans brought to the Americas. The pieces in this exhibition present a historic connection between the beliefs of the ancestors and the lives and deaths of those brought over during the middle passage. Travesías will be open until June 6, 2024. 


Yemaya Okuté

Ancestors of the Passage

Abuelas, Abuelos, Ancestors



  1. Great job of capturing the work of two outstanding contemporary Puert Rican artists.

  2. I was there as well and was fortunate to see them too. You gjve an excellent description of these two exhibits.! The photos are great. Thank you for sharing them with us.