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Mexican folk paintings explore faith


More than 50 Mexican retablos – folk paintings dedicated to Christ, the Virgin Mary or saints to commemorate a miraculous event – will be presented in an exhibition this spring and summer.

Vibrant and emotive, the small-scale paintings on metal span the entirety of the 20th century, serving as both historical documents and as personal expressions of suffering, insecurity and salvation, particularly in regard to the challenges of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The works in “Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants” were offered by Mexican migrants at churches and pilgrimage sites throughout western Mexico and the United States.

On view at the Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, N.J., from March 16 through July 7, “Miracles on the Border” will be presented in both English and Spanish. The exhibition is curated by Juliana Ochs Dweck, the museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Engagement.