The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center will re-open to the public on weekends only beginning August 8. Read more details about visiting. Please visit VassarTogether for the College’s Fall 2020 plans and policies.

Upcoming Exhibition

Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States

When: September 5 - December 13, 2020

About the Show

Retablos are thank-you notes to the heavens dedicated to Christ, the Virgin, or saints to consecrate a miraculous event. The votives in this exhibition—spanning the entirety of the twentieth century—were offered by Mexican migrants and their families to commemorate the dangers of crossing the border and living in the United States. Filled with emotive detail, they eloquently express subjects of greatest concern to the migrants, such as the difficulty of finding work or falling sick in a foreign land and the relief of returning home.

The word retablo, from the Latin retro tabulum (behind the altar table), originally referred to devotional paintings hung in Catholic churches in Europe. In Mexico, reflecting traditions embedded in local cultures by Spanish conquest beginning in the sixteenth century, retablo (synonymous in this usage with ex-voto, lámina, and milagro) came to denote a small oil painting on metal placed on the wall of a shrine or church.

Usually commissioned from local artists working anonymously, retablos feature a narrative that is both written and pictorial. First-person vignettes, dated and inscribed with the supplicants’ names, draw on a traditional vocabulary such as “doy infinitas gracias” (I give infinite thanks). In the luminous illustrations above the inscriptions, earthly figures share space with holy images and a dreamlike representation of the miracle. As they accumulate on church walls, both in Mexico and the United States, these votives become public records of private faith, fears, and familial attachments.

The exhibition is organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Support is provided by the Evelyn B. Metzger Exhibition Fund and the Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Fund.

Public Hours

Mon–Fri Closed
Sat 10am–5pm
Sun 1pm–5pm

Covid-19

Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, we cannot accommodate group tours at this time, and capacity in the galleries is limited. All visitors are required to wear masks.

Admission

Admission is free and open to all. All galleries are wheelchair accessible.


Parking/Entrance

Parking is on Raymond Avenue only. Entrance to the galleries is via the Raymond Ave. gate through the sculpture garden.

Students & Faculty

Consult the Teaching & Learning section of the VassarTogether page for information about visiting the Loeb during the week.

Please note that weekend hours are restricted to the general public only.

Contact

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

Send email via contact form

Main office

(845) 437-5237
(845) 437-5955 (Fax)

Information Line

(845) 437-5632