Mexican Museum

Jennifer Levy

The Mexican Museum at Fort Mason Center traces its history through the evolution of its permanent collection and a wide range of Latino art.


The spirit and soul of the cultures and art of Mexico and the Americas will be more vibrant than ever at the new home of the Mexican Museum. The Museum has begun construction of its permanent home in the heart of the Yerba Buena Gardens Art District, which is expected to open in 2019.

The Mexican Museum, currently located at Fort Mason Center, has a vast permanent collection of Mexican, Mexican American, Latino and Chicano art from Pre-Columbian times to the present. The works housed in the museum span 2,500 years of history.

Since December 15, and through February 26, 2017, the Museum will feature Fascination with Fauna: The Portrayal of Animals in Pre-Hispanic Art. The exhibit features art from the museum’s Pre-Hispanic collection and showcases the significance of animals in nature, religion, society.

“We are establishing a cultural institution of major proportion that will be for the Mexican community, Chicano community, and Latin American community as a whole,” said museum chairman Andrew Kluger.

The institution’s new home at Yerba Buena Gardens will feature galleries designated for presentation of the permanent collection, changing exhibitions, an educational center, a restaurant, and La Tienda – the museum store. The Museum will not be housed in a building of its own. It will occupy the first four floors of the new 510-foot tower at Jessie Square in the Yerba Buena Arts District.

The Mexican Museum, which in 2012 became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will be located at 706 Mission Street near other famous cultural museums including the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and the Museum of the African Diaspora. It boasts over 60,000 square feet of space with four floors and a lower-level storage that will allow the museum to showcase their expansive collection and rotating exhibits.

The new venue will be about nine times the size of the current Mexican Museum located at Fort Mason, which is not able to display its entire collection of 17,000 pieces.

Museum founder and artist Peter Rodríguez wanted to create an institution in the United States to exhibit the various aesthetic expressions of the Mexican and Mexican-American people. Today, his vision has been realized and expanded to reflect the evolving scope of the Mexican, Chicano, and Latino experience.

all renderings by TEN Arquitectos

© | 2019