Large Latino Population Wins Small Museum Significant Mexican Art Collection

One of the most significant U.S. collections of contemporary Mexican art has gone to a small museum in a Texas town of just over 200,000 people.

During a press conference Tuesday, the director of the Tyler Museum of Art, Kimberley Tomio announced that developer Dan Boeckman and his wife Laura had pledged their 650-item collection, which they had spent two decades amassing, to the museum. Stephen Vollmer, the former curator of Art of the Americas at the Tucson Museum of Art, aided them significantly, the Boeckmans said. Items harken from every state in Mexico except for Chiapas.

“The gift distinguishes the TMA and also broadens our collection to further represent the diverse and vibrant culture in which we live,” said Tomio.

The announcement of gift comes in the same year as the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence and also the 100th anniversary of the country’s revolution.

The museum has displayed objects from the collection before. Boeckman also said he and his wife had been looking to place the collection with “a city that had a large Hispanic population.” According to the Office of the State Demographer, in 2009, the Hispanic population in Tyler totaled 40,345, nearly 20 percent of the city’s total population.

“The Laura and Dan Boeckman Collection of Mexican Folk Art ensures that the Museum’s collection represents the cultural heritage of the growing segment of our community,” Tomio said. “This is important as the Museum strives to serve our local and regional population in its diverse entirety.”