Hola, art lovers! A gallery acquires Latino American portraits.

The National Portrait Gallery in Washington has twice as many portraits of Latinos today than just three years ago.

That’s largely due to Taína Caragol, the museum’s first curator of Latino art and history, who joined the museum in 2013.

The museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, aims to better represent the contributions of Latinos to American history and culture, says Caragol, who was born in Puerto Rico. Since her arrival, the gallery has acquired more than 100 portraits of Latinos, most of them by Latino artists.

Woman wearing suit folding her arms (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, photographed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, June 2010 (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

Caragol said she hopes visitors will get a sense of how deeply Latino culture is woven into the fabric of U.S. society — and how much Latino Americans’ talents are helping to shape their country’s future.

Man playing the accordion (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
Famed accordionist Flaco Jiménez, by Al Rendon, 1987 (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

Caragol admits she has a few current favorites among the museum’s growing collection of Latino portraiture. One is a portrait of labor leader Dolores Huerta, by Barbara Carrasco, and another is a portrait of salsa singer Celia Cruz, by Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte and Tico Torres.

Illustration of a woman with "Dolores" at top of drawing (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
Labor leader Dolores Huerta, by Barbara Carrasco, 1999 (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

Of the Huerta portrait, Caragol says: “I love that it’s a piece that documents the close relationship between the artist and Dolores Huerta, as it is dedicated by Dolores to her ‘beloved Bárbara, with respect,'” referring to Carrasco, a Chicana artist and activist.

Woman wearing long, ruffled dress with arms outstretched (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)
Full-length portrait of salsa singer Celia Cruz, by Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres, 1994 (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

The artists’ styles, like their subjects, vary tremendously.

Carrasco is known for her boldly hued, linear works while photographer Rodríguez-Duarte and stylist Torres work together to create dynamic celebrity portraits of artists and public figures.

Beyond portraiture, Caragol is interested in murals made during the Chicano and Nuyorican movements of the 1960s and 1970s, led respectively by Mexican Americans and by Puerto Ricans living in New York. Those artists, she says, “articulated their experience of living between two cultures.”