Historical Collections

Retablo Collection

1963.03 (f)
The NMSU University Art Gallery is home to over 1700 nineteenth-century Mexican retablos, the largest collection in the United States.

“The retablo art form flourished in Mexico during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.  Precedents for tin retablos can be traced to religious images placed in church altars and paintings on wood, copper, and canvas by European and Mexican artists created between teh fifteenth and eighteenth centuries.  Also affecting this distinctly Mexican devotion are pre-Columbian precedents of small household gods and mold-made clay votive figurines.  The nineteenth-century Mexican tin retablo combines Mexican and European influences to create a vital and unique art form,” (Zarur & Muir Lovell, 2001).



See our exhibition catalogues for Art and Faith in Mexico: The Nineteenth-Century Retablo Tradition. Select from the options below to view our vast collection:

{Retablo Collection}            {Recently Restored Retablos}

More Historical Pieces in Our Collection


The University Art Gallery also houses a number of works dating from before 1960.  View them here:

{Photography Pre-1960}

  {Painting, Drawing, & Sculpture Pre-1960}

 {Prints Pre-1960}