The MFAH Archives is open for scholarly research by appointment only.

Please call 713-639-7733 or e-mail the MFAH Archives to schedule an appointment.

Monday Friday
9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.

Closed Saturday, Sunday,
and all major holidays


Under the Gateway to Art/De Puertas al Arte program, the MFAH Archives digitized records pertaining to its Latin American and Latino art exhibition history for presentation on the Web. Upon its completion, the scope of the digital conversion project will include the records of twenty exhibitions that focus on Latin American modernism and Latino art The scope of the project does not encompass exhibitions dedicated exclusively to Pre-Columbian or Colonial art. The exhibitions range in date from 1930 to 1992 and feature such acclaimed Latin American artists as José Clemente Orozco, Pedro Figari, Diego Rivera, and JoaquínTorres-García, as well as Hispanic artists Luis Jiménez and Jesús Bautista Moroles.

Complete list of the exhibitions included in the project

The project allows for the wide dissemination of primary source material that falls within the scope of the Gateway to Art/De Puertas al Arte program and furthers its goal of broadening the understanding and appreciation of Latin American and Latino art. The primary source materials are records of the MFAH registrar's office, curatorial departments, and photo services department. The records consist primarily of correspondence, checklists, catalog essays, plot plans, wall labels, and installation photography. Researchers may browse records pertaining to a specific exhibition or may search by individual or institutional name, subject, date range or record type. Researchers may also conduct keyword searching of both catalog records and document text.

To facilitate browsing, the physical arrangement of the records and the hierarchical structure of traditional finding aids are maintained in the Online Latin American/Latino Art Exhibitions Archive. Therefore, an exhibition title will link to both a catalog record and to folders that, in turn, will have links to catalog records and to the documents they contain. Early exhibition records often consist of a single folder.

The online archive's hierarchical structure and the physical arrangement of the textual materials are reflected in the directory that appears in the Browse view and in the Reference codes that appear next to the record title. Reference codes connect the records together through a naming scheme as follows:

[country code][library identifier][record group number : series number].[subseries/exhibition number]-[box number]-[folder number]_[document number]

Photographs and audiovisual materials are maintained in separate collections and have reference codes that use the same naming scheme for the initial four indentifiers ([country code][library identifier][record group number : series number].[subseries/exhibition number]) followed by a separate accession number. Reference codes are a useful tool to retain the context of the materials by relating one document to another. All records from an exhibition may be retrieved by entering the [subseries/exhibition number] in a keyword search.

For more information on the design and specifications of the digital conversion project, please see About This Project.