The research material of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, measures 33.1 linear feet and 1.27 GB and dates from 1965-2004. The collection, amassed throughout Ybarra-Frausto's long and distinguished career as a scholar of the arts and humanities, documents the development of Chicano art in the United States and chronicles Ybarra-Frausto's role as a community leader and scholar in the political and artistic Chicano movement from its inception in the 1960s to the present day.
Scope and Content Note:
The research material of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, amassed throughout his long and distinguished career as a scholar of the arts and humanities, documents the development of Chicano art in the United States. As community leader and scholar, Ybarra-Frausto played dual roles of active participant and historian in the Chicano movement, chronicling this unique political and artistic movement from its inception in the 1960s to the present day.
Deeply rooted in American history, "El Movimiento," the Chicano movement, evolved from Mexican-Americans' struggle for self-determination during the civil rights era of the 1960s. It began as a grassroots community effort that enlisted the arts in the creation of a united political and cultural constituency. Chicano artists, intellectuals, and political activists were instrumental in mobilizing the Mexican-American community for the cause of social justice, and the movement was shaped by the affirmation of a cultural identity that embraced a shared heritage with Mexico and the United States.
Just as "El Movimiento" aimed to instruct and inspire through the recollection and conservation of culture, Ybarra-Frausto's own career as scholar and historian helped to shape the intellectual discourse of the Chicano art. As a leading historian and theoretician in the field of Chicano Studies, he has written extensively on the subject, and has been instrumental in defining the canons of Chicano art. His papers are accordingly rich and varied, and they will be of great use to future scholars.
His research material, dating from 1965 to 1996, are arranged in subject files containing original writings, notes, bibliographies compiled by Ybarra-Frausto and others, exhibition catalogues, announcements, newspaper clippings and other printed material, as well as slides and photographs. Many of these files also include interview transcripts and correspondence with prominent figures in the movement. While this research collection contextualizes Chicano art within the larger framework of Latino and Latin-American culture, the bulk of the files relates specifically to Chicano visual culture. The collection also contains pertinent documentation of the Chicano civil rights movement, material on Chicano poets and writers, and research files on the wider Hispanic community, but these also appear within the context of Chicano culture in general.
Prominent among the bibliographies are the many notes and drafts related to the publication of A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of Chicano Art, 1965-1981 (University of California, Berkeley, 1985), which Ybarra-Frausto co-authored with Shifra Goldman. Ybarra-Frausto's files on Goldman, like other files in the collection, document his close associations and collaborations with scholars.
Art historians have traditionally found the categorization of Chicano art a difficult task. Unsure whether to classify the work as "American" or "Latin American," critics often ignored the work altogether. An outgrowth of this dilemma was the proliferation of artists, curators, and critics within the Chicano community, and the papers contain many original writings by Chicano artists about Chicano art, found in extensive files on artists that will be of particular significance to researchers. These often contain exhibition essays, dissertation proposals, and course outlines authored by the artists, along with the standard biographies, exhibition records, and reviews. Some of the files contain rare interviews conducted and transcribed by Ybarra-Frausto. Highlights include conversations with Carmen Lomas Garza, Amalia Mesa-Bains, and members of the Royal Chicano Air Force artist cooperative.
As a member of several Chicano art organizations and institutions, Ybarra-Frausto kept active records of their operation. The extensive files on the Mexican Museum and Galerie de la Raza/Studio 24, both in San Francisco, not only chronicle the history of Chicano art through the records of exhibitions and programming, but also offer case studies on the development of non-profit art institutions. The files on artist cooperatives, organizations, and exhibition spaces cover several regions of the United States, but focus on California, Texas and New York.
Two notable events in the development of Chicano art were the 1982 Califas: Chicano Art and Culture in California seminar at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the 1990 traveling exhibition Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985 (CARA), of which Ybarra-Frausto served as organizer and catalogue essayist. His records document the planning and development of these seminal events. Ybarra-Frausto's files on folk art, altars, posters, murals, performance art, border art, Chicana feminist art, and Southwestern and Mexican imagery (both urban and rural expressions) mirror the diverse forms and subject matter of Chicano art.
Spanning almost four decades of American culture from a Chicano perspective, these files have a unique historical value. The legacy of Chicano art and its contribution to the cultural landscape of this country, kept alive in Ybarra-Frausto's files, attests to the richness and diversity of American art.
Henry C. Estrada
Research Fellow, 1997.
The collection is arranged as a single series of subject files. The general contents of each folder have been listed. The subject files are arranged in alphabetical order. While no two files are alike, they may contain résumés, printed and digital material, letters, draft writings, and photographs. Unless otherwise noted, each listing represents one file folder. The abbreviation TYF was used to refer to the name Tomá Ybarra-Frausto throughtout the Series Description.
Papelitos (little bits of paper), whether rent receipts, paid bills, or piles of personal letters, can become layered bundles of personal history. I have always been a pepenador (a scavenger) and saver of paper scraps. Diary notes, scribbled annotations, and first drafts are often useful indicators of ideas and gestation. Papelitos are the fragments of every-day life that gain expanded meaning integrated into the larger historical events of a period.
In the decade of the 1960s, I started saving ephemeral material--exhibition announcements, clippings of individual artists and of organizations fomenting a Chicano art movement. The social scenarios of the period such as marches, strikes, sit-ins, and mobilizations for social justice all spawned manifestos, posters, leaflets, and other forms of printed material. I somehow managed to assemble and protect the evanescent printed information that recorded the birth and development of Chicano art.
As I started to research and write about Chicano art and artists of the period, I continued to clip, photocopy, and preserve material given me by Mexican-American artists from throughout the nation. My idea was to form an archive that would be comprehensive rather than selective. I knew that it was the offbeat, singular piece of paper with a missing link of information that would attract the scholar.
Today, several decades after the flowering of Chicano art, there is still a lamentable paucity of research and information about this significant component of American art.
It is my fervent hope that this compendium of information will function as a resonant print and image bank for investigators of Chicano culture. Perhaps contained within the archive are the facts that will inspire new visions or revisions of Chicano art and culture--this is my fondest dream.
Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
New York City, 1998
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Tomás Ybarra-Frausto in 1997, and in 2004.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
The Tomás Ybarra-Frausto research material is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.