For nearly 70 years, the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art has served as one of the institutions that has contributed the most to the cultural heritage of the island. Its collection of Puerto Rican art—one of the most complete—is an invaluable resource for the study of our arts. It is also the custodian of important collections of international graphic works and Puerto Rican archaeology.
In its 72 years, the Archaeological Research Center (Centro de Investigaciones Arqueólogicas) has consistently carried out its mission of studying and defending Puerto Rico’s Indigenous and historical cultural heritage. It is because of the efforts devoted to this significant project, initially led by Dr. Ricardo Alegría and later by Dr. Chanlatte Baik, that we have been able to assemble the largest and most important archaeological collection in the Caribbean.
The history of art in Puerto Rico would be incomplete without mentioning the enormous contributions made over the last century by the leading institution of higher learning in our country, the University of Puerto Rico. The university’s commitment and unflagging efforts in fostering artistic sensibilities have characterized the education offered, to this day, in the lecture halls of our alma mater. Faced with rapidly changing realities, the Humanities and the Visual Arts position themselves as essential disciplines for a more comprehensive and inclusive education of present and future generations. In the hopes of contributing to this purpose, we present this edition of Visión Doble.
Resumen: La exposición permanente del Museo Arqueológico de Tibes tuvo una profunda transformación en 1989. De una muestra de carácter objetual se pasó a otra con un mayor énfasis conceptual, cuyos principales objetivos consistieron en ofrecer tanto un contexto adecuado a las piezas expuestas como una necesaria conexión entre pasado y presente. Con ello, se perseguía la identificación del puertorriqueño actual con sus antepasados indígenas a través de una serie de actividades y acciones cotidianas comunes, empleando diversos recursos museográficos que ayudaran a sus visitantes a comprender el verdadero alcance de esos nexos. Casi tres décadas después, su “metadiscurso” de afirmación nacional mantiene su vigencia.
Abstract: The permanent exhibition at the Tibes Archaeological Museum underwent a profound transformation in 1989. From an artifact-oriented display, it was given a far more conceptual emphasis, the main objectives of which were to provide an in-depth context for the exhibited objects and a necessary connection between past and present, thereby enabling contemporary Puerto Ricans to identify with their indigenous ancestors. This was further reinforced by focusing on the daily tasks of the indigenous peoples, using diverse museographic resources which can help visitors understand the true scope of our shared heritage. After nearly three decades, this “metadiscourse” constructed around national identity affirmation still maintains its validity.