A Finding Aid to the Luis Cancel Papers, circa 1900-1998, bulk 1970-1996, in the Archives of American Art.

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.cancluis
Creators:
Cancel, Luis R.
Dates:
circa 1900-1998
bulk 1970-1996
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
10.1 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of arts administrator and artist Luis Cancel measure 10.1 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1998 with the bulk of the material dating from 1970 to 1996. The collection is comprised of biographical material, professional files, arts administration records documenting his directorship at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and as Commissioner for the Department of Cultural Affairs in New York, subject and artist's files, files for the exhibition Legacy / Legado, printed materials, photographs, and unidentified sound recordings.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of arts administrator and artist Luis Cancel measure 10.1 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 1998 with the bulk of the material dating from 1970 to 1996. The collection is comprised of biographical material, professional files, arts administration records documenting his directorship at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and as Commissioner for the Department of Cultural Affairs in New York, subject and artist's files, files for the exhibition Legacy / Legado, printed materials, photographs, and unidentified sound recordings.
Biographical material contains two appointment books, awards, certificates, diplomas, a pin, real estate documents, resumes, a watercolor, and Cancel's writings. Files for committees, councils, consulting work, academic work, exhibitions, and various projects as well as digital disks and a video recording are among Cancel's professional files. Arts administration records consist of files for the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Department of Cultural Affairs. Subject files include printed material, two video recordings, and a small amount of other material on topics of interest to Cancel. Files on artists contain printed material, photographs, resumes, cross reference notes, and other material.
The Legacy / Legado exhibition files include digital disks, artist's files, administrative records, and photographic materials. Printed material consists of business cards, booklets, brochures, flyers, invitations, newsletters, magazines, and clippings. Photographic materials are of Cancel with colleagues, family, travel, and works of art. Two unidentified sound recordings are in the last series.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as nine series.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1970-1994 (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OV 12)
  • Series 2: Professional Files, 1973-1998 (3.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-5)
  • Series 3: Arts Administration Records, 1972-1997 (4.1 linear feet; Boxes 5-8, OV 12, 14)
  • Series 4: Subject Files, 1973-1996 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 8-9)
  • Series 5: Artist Files, 1952-1991 (0.5 linear feet; Box 9, 11, OV 12)
  • Series 6: Legacy / Legado Exhibition Files, 1985-1996 (0.8 linear feet; Box 9-11)
  • Series 7: Printed Material, 1976-1992 (0.2 linear feet; Box 10, OV 13)
  • Series 8: Photographic Material, circa 1900-circa 1990 (0.3 linear feet; Box 10-11)
  • Series 9: Unidentified Sound Recordings, circa 1980s (1 folder; Box 11)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Luis Cancel (1952-) is an arts administrator and artist from New York City, N.Y.
Cancel attended Fiorello H. La Guardia High School for Music and Art before earning his bachelor of arts degree in painting and printmaking from Pratt Institute. During his last year at Pratt, he studied in Puerto Rico at the University of Puerto Rico. Cancel continued his research on Puerto Rico through a fellowship with the American Friends Service Committee Reciprocal Youth Project in Puerto Rico. Cancel's research resulted in a multifaceted presentation titled Puerto Rico: Its People and Its Artists. He continued his education receiving master of arts degrees from New York University in arts administration and from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in public administration. Cancel also attended classes on educational software design and CD-ROM production at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
After finishing his studies, Cancel became gallery director at the Cayman Gallery in New York from 1975 to 1977. In 1978, he became the executive director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts. In his 13 years at the Bronx Museum, Cancel organized numerous exhibitions including The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States 1920-1970, Devastation/Resurrection: The South Bronx, and Krishna Reddy: A Retrospective. He was also granted a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to travel throughout Latin America to research art and build relationships with significant museums and galleries. Cancel left the Bronx Museum in 1991 to begin his tenure as Commissioner of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs where he worked with Mayor David Dinkins to enhance support for the city's arts.
In the 2000s, Cancel was also the executive director of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, the Director of Cultural Affairs in San Francisco, was appointed by United States Representative Nancy Pelosi to the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, and established a cultural consulting company. He is currently the CEO at the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Sarah Mundy in 2018. Born-digital materials were processed by Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Author
Sarah Mundy
Sponsor
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated by Luis Cancel in 2000.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Luis Cancel papers, circa 1900-1998, bulk 1970-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings and born-digital records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hispanic American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Latin American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hispanic American art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bronx Museum of the Arts Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (N.Y.). Department of Cultural Affairs Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/