Video: Smithsonian Latino art curator explains the meaning behind “Brownies of the Southwest”

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LatinaLista — The Smithsonian American Art Museum is host to the exhibit “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art.” To bring the exhibition to a wider Latino audience, the museum’s Latino art curator, E. Carmen Ramos, highlights a piece from the exhibit and explains the concept behind the piece and the motivating factors that inspired the artist to create it.

In the featured selection, Ramos talks about a 1970 work by El Paso artist Melesio Casas entitled “Brownies in the Southwest.”

The acrylic on canvas painting is a statement by the artist of how popular culture of the time had demeaned ‘brown’ culture by presenting a visual historical timeline combining different representations of what symbolized brown (culture) in the Southwest while tying it all back to its indigenous roots.

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