Luis González Palma. El árbol, 1993

Luis González Palma. El árbol, 1993. Image and data from Lehigh University Art Galleries Permanent Collection.

When tasked with explaining my cultural heritage I feel a mixture of excitement and trepidation; the term “Hispanic” captures such a wide spectrum of people and cultures. Plus, in a year of high racial tensions and unrest I worry that I am not being sensitive or inclusive to all my brown and black brothers and sisters.

As a Chicana, I loathe having my heritage summed up in tacos, sombreros, and mustaches, so for this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration I decided to delve into our open collections and find images that I felt capture some of the beautiful diversity, creativity, and uniqueness in our many heritages, not just my own.

These images inspired me to learn more about these amazing cultures. I feel too often the representation of Hispanic heritage is often framed in a negative or patronizing way, but these images highlight the incredible diversity and art that each of these communities create — something worthy of celebration.

– Dani Esquivel, ITHAKA Exhibits & Events Senior Specialist

The selections in this post come from Lehigh University Art Galleries Permanent Collection, Trinity College Library Hartford Collection, Virginia Tech – L.J. Currie Slides, Wofford College: Stereographs in Special Collections, Wofford College: The Lindsay Webster Collection of Cuban Posters, Cornell: International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Photographs, Wofford College: Fine Arts Collection, and St. Lawrence University: Street Art Graphics.

Ready for more? Check out Teaching Hispanic Heritage Month with Artstor and explore 23 open collections perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month