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Regalos Magnificos highlights new works for the ASU Art Museum folk art collection

Corpus Christi headdress
Mixed media
21 x 13 x 10 /12;”
Collection of Arizona State University Art Museum, Gift of Peter P. Cecere

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

September 28, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. – The ASU Art Museum presents a preview of Latin American folk art from Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, Oct. 21 – Dec. 30 during Regalos Magnificos: Introducing Donations from the Collection of Peter P. Cecere. The 22 works in clay, wood, painting, textiles are culled from Cecere’s donation of 1,000 works to the museum collection last year.

The Cecere collection reflects a passion for the people of Latin America and the objects they make that reflect daily life, religion and humor.  In the diplomatic service for 30 years, Cecere did his job and then went to the markets of Latin American capitals to forage for folk art. He knows many of the makers, some for several generations within the same family.  He houses 12,000 art works in a home he built for the collection in the Virginia woods.  The work is characterized by Cecere’s sense of humor and his opinion, shared with the Latin American artisans, that the everyday business of existence is worthy of the artist’s attention.

“Cecere has no patience with pretentiousness, which is a target of much folk art,” says Director and Chief Curator Marilyn Zeitlin. “He also appreciates the seemingly endless invention of the Latin American craftsman.  The work that he collected, which lampoons pretentiousness, gains its energy from humor.” 

Acquisition of this extensive folk art collection strengthens the museum’s commitment to serve the people of Latin American heritage in the Phoenix metro area by showcasing the artistic production of that heritage and educating the general public about the richness of it.  

The display coincides with the 2006 annual meeting of the Folk Art Society of America held in Phoenix.  

The ASU Art Museum, named ?the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona? by Art in America, is part of the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. The museum is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe and entry is free. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and until 9 p.m. Tuesdays during the academic year. For more information, call 480-965-2787 or visit the museum online at

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay