Join us on February 22 as panelists discuss why we create, collect, and study popular graphic arts as forms of political engagement.
Experience a visual journey through a turbulent period in Central American history. Selections from a recently-acquired collection of posters from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama offer a window into the region's Cold War-era conflicts from the 1960s to the 1990s. These rare materials demonstrate how popular visual arts can both produce and reflect moments of social and political change, providing insights into enduring struggles for democracy and regional migration in Central America.
The posters in this exhibit are curated from a larger collection assembled by Fred Morgner, a longtime supplier of Central American books to the Penn Libraries. They were created during a period of time when much of Central America was immersed in Cold War internal armed conflicts that spanned decades; most significantly, those in Guatemala, from 1960 to 1996, El Salvador between 1979 to 1992, and Nicaragua from 1961 to1990.
Despite the difficulties of acquisition travel during this time, Morgner was able to gather a substantial collection of material from Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, primarily, with a smaller number of items obtained from Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. Most of the material was sourced from government institutions, revolutionary groups, human rights organizations, and other civil society organizations, such as women’s groups, labor groups, and liberation theologists.
Revolutionary Aesthetics: Afterlives of Central American Insurgency was curated by Brie Gettleson, Latin American Studies Librarian in the Center for Global Collections, with co-curators Logan Saenz, C’25 and Josué David Chávez, GR’29.
Plan Your Visit
On view February 8 to May 24, 2024. This exhibition is free and open to the public and located in the Goldstein Gallery on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Penn faculty, staff, and students must swipe their PennCard for access. Visitors from outside the Penn community must present a current, valid government or school-issued photo ID that contains an expiration date. Find more information to plan your visit.
Featured image: Comité Hondureño de Mujeres por la Paz, Comité Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Populares (CCOP), “La patria: no se vende, no se alquila, ni se presta. Fuera tropas gringas, fuera contras,” Undated. From Honduras. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.
The Penn Libraries' Latin American Collection includes a substantial collection of ephemera, books, and audiovisual materials from Central America, focusing on sources for political and social history.