Boricuas in the Garden: The Story of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey

Exhibit on view from September 14 to December 31, 2017
2nd Floor Gallery, Main Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark

The Newark Public Library‘s 2017 Latino Celebration will feature the exhibition Boricuas in the Garden: The Story of Puerto Ricans in New JerseyBoricua, pronounced BÔ-ree-kwa, another term for Puerto Rican, comes from Borikén – the name the Taínos, the island’s pre-Columbian inhabitants gave their homeland. This exhibit explores the long history and dynamic presence of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey and illustrate how this vibrant community has become an integral part of the fabric of the Garden State, paving the way for other Latino groups.

The exhibit will trace the history of Puerto Ricans in the Garden State with archival materials, historic photographs, and other documents about individuals and the community organizations they established, many drawn from the Library’s holdings in the Puerto Rican Community Archives, part of the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center. It will also feature a selection of extraordinary works from the Library’s Puerto Rican Fine Prints Collection. The Newark Public Library has been acquiring original prints, signed posters and special books by artists and writers from Puerto Rico for over forty years. Today, it has a collection of approximately 400 fine prints and signed posters by artists such as Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, José Rosa, Roberto Moya, Antonio Martorell, Luis Cajiga, Myrna Báez, Nelson Sambolín, and others who made Puerto Rico one of the most important countries in graphic arts in the mid-20th century.

Boricuas in the Garden was curated by Ingrid Betancourt, Chief Librarian for Special Collections; Yesenia López, Director, New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library; and Kristyn Scorsone, Archival Assistant, NJHRIC.

Group visits and more details are readily available by calling La Sala Hispanoamericana at the Library at 973-733-7772.

For more information about Latino Celebration 2017, please click here.

Image: Puerto Rican Day Parade on Broad Street in Newark, 1987.  Photo courtesy of David Scull.

 

This year’s Latino Celebration programs and exhibit are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Essex Council Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, support from Verizon / NJ Shares Communications Lifeline program, and by a grant from the Friends of the HRIC.

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