University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo have donated multiple prints from their personal collection of Chicano art to the university, establishing the Dr. Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo Print Collection at the UTSA Libraries. The prints are now accessible to scholars and students studying influential Latino artists.
The donation contains nearly 50 prints of works by prominent painters, photographers and lithographers.
Included in the collection are two prints of Forbidden Fruit, 1991, by Patssi Valdez, a performance artist and painter known for her work in Chicana avant-garde expressionism. Additionally, there are 13 black and white photographic prints by Oscar Castillo, known for his work documenting Chicano communities in California and Texas.
The collection also includes a 2010 portfolio from Arceo Press, 100 Años: Centenario de la Revolución Mexicana, containing 24 prints by Mexican and Mexican-American artists. Rounding out the Romo gift are 10 original lithographs by David Alfaro Siqueiros, a world-renown Mexican artist the Romos have followed since the late 1960s, recognized for his iconic murals and social realist paintings.
The prints reside within UTSA Libraries Special Collections, home to the university’s rare and distinctive research materials, and are viewable by appointment in the John Peace Library Special Collections Reading Room.
President Romo envisions patrons visiting the library to study the prints and come away with enhanced knowledge of Latino culture.
“We are so pleased to be able to take our love for Latino art and share it with scholars and our local community,” Romo said. “Harriett and I are pleased to have this collection at the UTSA Libraries.”
The prints and lithographs hold special meaning for the Romos, tapping into their enthusiasm for collecting relevant art that represents the rich diversity of Latino culture. One example of the personal nature of their gift is the inclusion of a rare copy of Poems from the Canto General by Pablo Neruda, one of just 235 copies printed in Paris and a book the Romos have held for 25 years.
President Romo says the collection represent valuable contributions to the landscape of Chicano and Mexican art, and will be of interest to art scholars from around the world.
“The establishment of the Dr. Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo Print Collection raises the UTSA Libraries’ profile as a research library and a laboratory for the arts,” said Dean Hendrix, dean of UTSA Libraries. “We are profoundly grateful to them for their commitment to making these materials accessible to scholars and preserving our cultural legacy.”
UTSA Libraries Special Collections brings national recognition to the university for archival materials documenting the diverse histories and development of San Antonio and South Texas. Signature collecting areas include the histories of the Mexican-American, African-American and LGBTQ communities in San Antonio, the history of women and gender in Texas, the Tex-Mex food industry, as well as regional photography, architecture and urban planning.
With four locations across three campuses, the UTSA Libraries are fueling UTSA’s ascent to Tier One by advancing research and education, stimulating discovery and creativity, and engaging the university’s diverse communities.