Located in Humboldt Park, in the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (NMPRAC) is the only self-standing museum in the nation devoted to showcasing Puerto Rican arts and cultural exhibitions year-round.
Founded in 2000 by members of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community and local supporters of arts and culture, NMPRAC serves as a one-of-a-kind institution that celebrates the best of Puerto Rico’s identity and heritage. The early years of the museum centered on renovating the historic Humboldt Park Stables and Receptory, an iconic building that has been culturally and historically significant to Chicago since the late 1800s. After more than 20 years of not inducting any new museums in the park, NMPRAC made recent history and was named the latest City of Chicago’s Museums in the Park in February 2012.
In 2014, the name of the museum was changed to reflect our status as the only museum in the country dedicated exclusively to Puerto Rican arts and culture. The national recognition is paving the way for national accreditation through the American Alliance of Museums. Since its inception, NMPRAC has offered a variety of quality community arts and cultural programming, including visual art exhibitions, hands-on community arts workshops, films in the park and an annual outdoor fine arts and crafts festival.
Visitors to the museum will enter through the dramatic brick archway of the original carriage receptory into a magnificent brick courtyard adorned with mosaic artwork depicting the island of Puerto Rico and many of its cultural elements. The courtyard is surrounded on all sides by the unique Queen Anne architectural features of the former stables. Each room in the stables has been transformed into part of a fully functional museum.
NMPRAC currently houses three galleries, performance spaces, arts classrooms and curatorial and administrative offices. The museum also features a gift shop and a catering area. The courtyard serves as the ideal space for art festivals, outdoor performances, weddings, and other private rentals.
NMPRAC gives people from all walks of life an opportunity to be inspired by the power of artistic tradition, allowing guests to explore and appreciate the incredible beauty, intensity and tradition of Puerto Rican art and culture.
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is a member of:
NMPRAC is a place where preservation meets inspiration.
NMPRAC is the premiere organization that both influences and connects diasporic arts, culture, and history to evolving generations.
Our programs are made possible by our valued partners.
Billy Ocasio, Chief Executive Officer
David Hernandez, Chairman
Jaime Moctezuma, Vice-Chairman
Maria Concepcion, Secretary
Juan M. Calderon, Treasurer
Jose E. Lopez
Hipolito ‘Paul’ Roldan
Luis A. Martinez
Aida L. Maisonet Giachello
Board of Trustees:
The Humboldt Park Stables, home to the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, is truly a historic and architectural treasure. Designed by architects Fromman & Jebsen and constructed in 1895–1896, the Humboldt Park Stables feature handiwork and materials rarely seen today: red pressed brick, timber cornices and gables, glazed corner tiles, dramatic turrets and archways, and a long sloping red tile roof. In December of 1895, Danish immigrant and master landscape architect Jens Jensen was named Superintendent of Humboldt Park and, later, of Chicago’s West Park System. Jensen’s office was located on the first-floor turret overlooking the park.
The stable building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. At that time, the Chicago Park District began efforts to restore the building. Unfortunately, fire destroyed more that 40 percent of the roof and the second floor in 1992. Undeterred, the Park District and community leaders worked tirelessly to renovate the building and transform it into the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, which two years ago, became transformed into the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
Renovations of the exterior of the building were completed in 1998. The interior has undergone significant renewal with the building of several galleries and classrooms in 2010. In 2014, the second floor was fully renovated, adding another gallery space and administrative offices.
The Humboldt Park Stables are truly an aesthetic masterpiece, providing a beautiful and stimulating setting for NMPRAC’s exhibitions, programs and cultural activities. The restoration and thoughtful reuse of this extraordinary space is a tremendous gift to the community and to the City of Chicago.