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Hispanic Americans

National Portrait Gallery

Hispanic Heritage Month

National Museum of American History

20c Hispanic Americans single

National Postal Museum
mint

Hispanic Society of America

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Reproduction of Goya print in black and white. Recto: Hispanic Society of America,"tuti li mundi" and "regozijo". Verso: Museum & Library, "regozijo" and "Goya." Small vertical format.

The Hispanic Project (16)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Hispanic Project (2)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Hispanic Project (18)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Hispanic Heritage Teaching Resources

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Catalog of Web links to Latino educational sites around the Smithsonian.

DoD Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

National Museum of American History

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Festival 2014

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, a team of ARTLAB+ teens attended the Hispanic Heritage Month Family Festival and filmed video interviews, asking festival goers about their thoughts on Hispanic heritage and culture. To learn more about ARTLAB+ Production Teams and other programs, visit artlabplus.si.edu

Hispanic Heritage Month All Year Round

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration with Jarana Beat

National Museum of the American Indian
Jarana Beat celebrates the little-known music and instruments of Mexico and presents a new interpretation that melds the contemporary with traditional roots. The percussive footwork of dancers dressed in traditional regalia, the rhythms of world music blending with the regional sounds of son jarocho from the Gulf Coast, son guerrerense from the Southern Pacific Coast, son huasteco from the Central & North-Eastern region, mexika from the Central, and norteña from the North, all converge into a vibrant and unique musical performance that will have you on your feet.

Collecting the history of Hispanic advertising

National Museum of American History
Over the past two years, the museum's business history curator, Dr. Kathleen Franz, has been collecting a wide range of materials related to the history of Hispanic advertising. We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Franz to learn more about this initiative and see some of the objects and records that have been added to the museum's collections.
 
Q. You've now spent the better part of two years researching and collecting materials related to the history of Hispanic advertising. What got you interested in this topic? And how has your understanding of the topic changed over the past two years?
 
A.  In 2013 I started working with the advertising history collections at the National Museum of American History for the American Enterprise exhibition. The intention was to devote a section of the exhibition to the history of advertising as the “friendly face” of business and the people who serve business by speaking to consumers. The museum has one of the nation’s best collections of advertising history, dating to the 19th century. However, the collections were built primarily in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the funding for collecting advertising had waned just as the Latino/a-owned ad firms took off. So, I wanted to fill in the missing stories of Hispanic advertising.  
 
The advertisers and the main trade association AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing were eager to help us document their history. I learned other things as well, such as the powerful role women creatives have played in building various firms and the industry. Finally, while I thought advertisers worked for their corporate clients, I now have a better understanding of how Hispanic advertisers also worked directly with and for communities of consumers.
 
Collage of two Spanish-language ads created for the VOTO campaign, 1990s. The ad on the left show a closet filled with white shirts and a single multi-colorer shirt with ruffled sleeves. The right ad has a call to action and shows black-and-white photos of cheeseburgers alongside several different bottles of hot sauces and spices.
Q. When most of us think of the history of advertising, we think of famous ads, slogans, and campaignsthings that are, almost by definition, pretty short-lived. How have you gone about collecting these short-lived materials? And is there more to the history of advertising than ads?
 
A. Well, there’s a lot more to the history of advertising than what the consumer sees. We’ve been careful to collect the business of advertising: company mission statements, financial records, the extensive marketing studies that they did to prove that various communities were viable markets, the materials used to pitch clients, etc. One of the most interesting things were pitch materials that translated the Spanish that some large brands were using to sell their products. They proved that directly translating Spanish didn’t work and what was needed were completely new approaches.
 
Photograph of presentation board. The board has a marker-drawing of a Bayer aspirin container, as well as the product's tagline, its direct Spanish translation, and the SPanish translation's back to English. It reads: "'I take care of myself with Bayer'...'Me cuido con Bayer'...'I don't get pregant with Bayer.'"
And, yes, many ad campaigns have been short-lived, and perhaps digital advertising is the most ephemeral and the most difficult to collect. We’ve been working closely with agencies such as Lopez Negrete in Houston, Texas, on how to collect digital media.
 
Collage image. On the left, a scanned image of the an ad made to advertise the Lopez Negrete firm. A small cartoon ocean liner tugs a much larger liner on the ocean, and a tagline reads "Guiding Great Brands Since 1985." On the right, a two-sided coin, with a torch and heart on reverse sides. The coin reads: "Level of Concern," "Commo Vere Et Persuadere," and "Love of Craft."
Photograph of an award board. The board is a tall rectangle with various news articles and photos mounted on it. The board's label reads: "Sosa & Associates Agency of the Year 1990."
Q. How does the history of Hispanic advertising compare or contrast to the popular depictions of the advertising industry we've grown familiar with through shows like Mad Men?
 
A.  One obvious difference was language. Latino/a advertisers had to work across cultural and language differences with their clients to help them understand different groups of consumers. They had to overcome and dispel cultural misconceptions and stereotypes. The second thing that jumps out immediately is, again, the number of women in positions of power in Hispanic-owned agencies, even in the 1960s and 1970s. I’m still working on why women held such important positions in Hispanic agencies when they were struggling for recognition in general market firms, but part of the answer is that many of these agencies were started by or co-owned by women.
 
Collage image. On the left, a photograph of Sara Sunshine sitting with a group of advertising leaders (all men). On the right, a photograph of Sunshine's 1987 Clio award, a gold statue. The statue's label indicates the award is for the advertisement campaign "Pepsi - 'The Drummer.'"
Scanned cover of the AdWeek magazine, with a photograph of Tere Zubizarreta.
Q. And to follow up with that question, is the history of Hispanic advertising distinct from the history of other niche or minority markets in the U.S.?
 
A. Yes, because the historical experiences of the agency owners and creatives are different from, say, folks who owned Asian or African American agencies. The business of Hispanic advertising was shaped by Cuban immigration in the 1960s and 1970s and by the particular historical contexts of Mexican and Mexican American advertising in the Southwest. Advertisers often had transnational careers and moved across borders, starting their careers in Mexico and then coming to the U.S. or moving between the two. In addition, Hispanic creatives had to break a glass ceiling in terms of creativity. Budgets were smaller for these agencies, which limited what they could do in a campaign. So, for instance, where a general-market agency might have the funds to hire celebrity talent, pay for on-location filming, or contract with a known director for a commercial, Hispanic agencies often did not have the funding to do that.  Those things can affect the quality of production.  So it was a milestone when Tony Dieste in Dallas won the Cannes Lion, the industry’s most prestigious prize for creativity, in 1996.
 
Collage image. On the left, a photograph of Tony Dieste's Cannes Lion, a gold statue of a lion with a circular background. On the right, a photograph of a small silver statue replica of Mezcala figure.
 
Q. How will the museum use the materials it collects in the future?
 
A.  The advertising collections get a lot of use, actually, by a range of folks including documentary filmmakers, scholars, as well as the curatorial staff. There are many stories beyond advertising that can be gleaned from the collections. For instance, we can learn about voter registration and immigration naturalization campaigns done by these firms. Items from the collections will find their way into future films, books, and exhibitions on the history of advertising and, hopefully, it will be hard to miss the contributions of this remarkable group of business people.
 
Collage image. On the left, an abstract painting of Lady Guadalupe. On the right, an ad with several drawn portraits of people's faces in profile with a large bald eagle in profile in the background
 
Kathleen Franz is a co-curator of the American Enterprise exhibition and a curator in the Work and Industry Division at the National Museum of American History. Jordan Grant is a New Media assistant working with the American Enterprise exhibition.
Posted Date: 
Monday, November 7, 2016 - 08:00
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Hispanic Society of America Medal (obverse) [sculpture] / (photographer unknown)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
On photo mount label: E. Fuchs. Medal of the Hispanic Society of America. Gift of: Emil Fuchs. Classification number: 282. Accession: 57509.

1 photographic print : b&w, 6 x 4 1/2 in. (trimmed), mounted on 9 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. board.

Musica Latina: Exploring Hispanic Heritage through Music

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Webpage includes an essay on the growing Latino community in the United States and the infusion of Latin music. Includes musical selections from Colombia, Texas, and Puerto Rico, and film clips of live performances.

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day 2011 Video Interviews

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
During the 2011 Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day Event, held at the Smithsonian Haupt Gardens, a team of ARTLAB+ teens filmed video interviews, asking festival goers about their favorite music memories. To learn more about ARTLAB+ Production Teams and other programs, visit artlabplus.si.edu.

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day: Passport to Argentina (Overview)

Smithsonian Education
A brief overview of the Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day 2012: Passport to Argentina celebrations. Smithsonian Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day 2010: Passport to Argentina September 25, 2010 National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hispanic Advertising History Includes Selena as Spokesperson for Coca-Cola

Smithsonian Insider

In the 1960s and ’70s, Latinos in advertising began advocating for the buying power of Latino consumers, leading to a transition in the advertising industry […]

The post Hispanic Advertising History Includes Selena as Spokesperson for Coca-Cola appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.

American History curator seeks Don Drapers of Hispanic Ad World

Smithsonian Insider

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is home to some of the earliest examples of American advertising, dating all the way back to the […]

The post American History curator seeks Don Drapers of Hispanic Ad World appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places and Events on stamps

National Postal Museum
Stamps illuminate what we value as a people and a culture, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's exhibit, "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: People, Places and Events on Stamps" sheds new light on the many contributions of Hispanic Americans and Latinos to the exploration, culture, growth, and defense of the United States. Read more: http://npm.si.edu/HispanicAmericans

Satellite Images Reveal 81 Pre-Hispanic Settlements in the Amazon

Smithsonian Magazine

Historical accounts from the 18th century attest that the Upper Tapajós Basin was once densely populated with large villages connected by roads. Nevertheless, for many years, the prevailing theory among archaeologists was that pre-Hispanic settlements in the Amazon were clustered mainly around the fertile lands near the floodplains. Large swaths of the Amazon, particularly regions situated at a distance from major waterways, remain largely unexplored by researchers. Now, as Sarah Kaplan reports for the Washington Post, new research in the savannah-like region near Brazil’s border with Bolivia​ shows that ancient human activity in the Amazon was far more robust and wide-ranging than experts previously thought.

By studying satellite imagery, researchers from the UK and Brazil found traces of 81 settlements in the Upper Tapajós Basin​. The aerial surveys revealed the remains of dozens of geoglyphs—mysterious, geometric earthworks that may have been used during ritual ceremonies. Villages have often been found near, or even inside geoglyphs, and when archaeologists explored 24 of the sites uncovered by the satellite images, they unearthed stone tools, ceramic fragments, garbage piles, and terra preta, an enriched soil that has been found in other parts of the Amazon. According to Nicola Davis of the Guardian, the team also discovered evidence of fortifications, sunken roads and platforms where houses once stood.

Describing their discovery in Nature Communications, the researchers write that they were able to date wood charcoal from the sites to between 1410 and 1460 C.E. Peak activity of other settlements on the southern rim of the Amazon have been dated as far back as the mid-13th century, leading the team to conclude that “an 1800 km stretch of southern Amazonia was occupied by earth-building cultures living in fortified villages [circa] C.E. 1250–1500.”

According to the study authors, the team believes that settlements during this period were even more wide-ranging than historical accounts indicated. Using a computer model, researchers estimated that there could be as many as 1,300 geoglyphs across 400,000 square kilometers (154,441 square miles) of the southern Amazon rainforest. Between 500,000 and 1 million people may have lived in the region, the models suggest.

The new findings from the Upper Tapajós Basin indicate that the stretch of settlements along the southern Amazon was home to an array of cultures. Communities in the region shared some practices, like soil enrichment and fortification techniques. But their ceramic styles and architectural traditions were diverse.

“We are so excited to have found such a wealth of evidence,” José Iriarte, professor of archaeology at the University of Exeter and one of the authors of the study, said in a statement. “Most of the Amazon hasn’t been excavated yet, but studies such as ours mean we are gradually piecing together more and more information about the history of the largest rainforest on the planet.”

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