A museum under the auspices of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Institute of Fine Arts; INBA), the Museo Nacional de la Estampa (National Museum of Prints; MUNAE) is one of the four buildings of great architectural worth in the emblematic Plaza of Santa Veracruz, beside the Franz Mayer Museum, the church of San Juan de Dios, and the parish of Santa Veracruz.
In December 2016 the National Museum of Prints celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its inauguration and establishment in the building designated its venue in 1986. Created by presidential decree on December 17, 1986, published in the Mexican Federal Register and signed by then president, Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, the National Museum of Prints was opened to the public as a dependency of the INBA. It was established to “bring together, conserve, document, and spread awareness of the graphic work of Mexican and foreign artists to the general public.”
The presidential degree cites the advisability of creating this museum, because “the prints genre is a means of expression that has a clear tradition and widespread popular acceptance in our country.” Since that time, the institutional development of the National Museum of Prints has confirmed the vision of its institutional calling and commitment, dedicated to the dissemination and preservation of the patrimonial legacy included in printmaking. Slightly more than three decades since its foundation, with more than 320 temporary exhibitions held in its exhibition galleries, and with a collection of more than 12,000 works, this museum has consolidated its role as a point of reference among Mexican and international institutions also devoted to the graphic arts.
The National Museum of Prints has made its temporary and traveling exhibitions programs a prominent part of its development. It has deployed a wide variety of curatorial approaches in tune with the historical and aesthetic characteristics and guidelines inherent to the graphic arts: new readings of the museum’s holdings; retrospectives of individual artists or collectives; promoting new trends in contemporary art; forging ties between graphic arts and other systems of cultural creation; spreading awareness of graphics in public and private collections; and presenting outstanding historical and artistic references in international graphic arts, to name a few.
Likewise, it has diversified its cultural programs by offering workshops, encounters with artists, concerts, book presentations, academic activities, and guided tours, which have enabled the museum to expand its activities and strengthen ties of collaboration with agents and creators of graphics.
This museum is dedicated to the preservation, research, and dissemination of the patrimonial, national and international legacy of the artistic disciplines of printmaking and prints.
The museum’s institutional mission is strictly aligned INBA’s in “preserving and spreading awareness of the nation’s patrimony, disseminating and promoting the creation of art, and fostering education and research in art, with the participation of the three levels of government and society to better the quality of life of the Mexican people.” Since its inception the museum has adhered to its fundamental principles of spreading awareness of the graphic production of Mexican and foreign artists in the country and abroad, as well as to gather, preserve, research, and document graphic work.
To consolidate and position the museum on the national
and international arena as a point of reference in the museum world dedicated
to the artistic discipline that gave rise to it, as a function of the following
principles: a) full recognition of the historical tradition in Mexican art
concerning printmaking and prints; b) ongoing specialization and expansion of
the public and museum, critical, and academic and artistic circuits associated
with graphics; c) technological innovation and the incorporation of digital
platforms that have marked the diversification of artistic, museum, and
interpretational strategies; d) the expansion and hybridization of processes,
techniques, and creative expressions that encompass the development of graphics
today; and e) the connection of prints as a discipline with other forms of
artistic and cultural production.