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Classical 91.7-Arte Público Author of the Month: Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr.

Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr. has been selected as this month’s Classical 91.7/Arte Público Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, Classical 91.7’s Eric Ladau spoke with Dr. Oettinger.



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Former New York governor and vice president of the United States Nelson A. Rockefeller’s collection of more than 3,000 pieces of Mexican folk art is widely considered to be the most exceptional in the U.S., and Folk Treasures of Mexico: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection (Arte Público Press, March 2010) celebrates these icons—created from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries—with more than 150 photos of the pieces, many of which are quite rare.

This updated edition of the long out-of-print book focusing on this stunning collection of Mexican folk art contains a new foreword by Rockefeller’s daughter, Ann Rockefeller Roberts, and a new prologue by Marion Oettinger, Jr., the director of the San Antonio Museum of Art, who wrote the principal text about the collection.

Tesoros del Arte Popular MexicanoThe Spanish version of “Folk Treasures of Mexico”

Oettinger describes the objects according to function: utilitarian, ceremonial, decorative, or for play. Among the many noteworthy objects are a wooden-carved centurion helmet mask from the eighteenth century depicting a Roman guard, which is one of the few remaining masks of this type in existence, and a nineteenth century ceramic pitcher from Oaxaca that combines many stylistic techniques. Other objects include a variety of children’s toys, clothing, and items for eating and drinking.

First published in 1990, the book also contains the original preface by Rockefeller’s daughter, who was instrumental in finding permanent homes for her father’s stunning collection, which can now be found in the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Mexican Museum in San Francisco.

Including a glossary, bibliography, and chronology, Folk Treasures of Mexico is a must-read for anyone interested in Latin American art, culture, and history.

Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr.., the Betty and Bob Kelso Director of the San Antonio Museum of Art, is a cultural anthropologist specializing in Latin America.

Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit

In the next installment of a series of monthly features, Classical 91.7’s Eric Ladau spoke with Dr. Oettinger about his works.