Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Acquires Another Photo from San Antonio's Al Rendon

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 12:21 PM

click to enlarge Portrait of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and his partner Dudley Brooks - AL RENDON
  • Al Rendon
  • Portrait of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and his partner Dudley Brooks
Photographer Al Rendon may be best known to San Antonians for his iconic photos of Tejano queen Selena Quintanilla, but those are far from the only noteworthy portraits he's captured with his lens.

Last Thursday, Rendon announced on Instagram that another one of his images had been acquired by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery — this one a photo of Chicano scholar Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and his partner Dudley Brooks. This makes the fourth of Rendon's photos to be acquired by the Washington D.C. museum, joining portraits of La Reina, author Sandra Cisneros and Conjunto legend Flaco Jiménez.

Rendon told the San Antonio Express-News he took the photo around 2009 in the apartment Ybarra-Frausto and Brooks shared at the time. It was located downtown on Commerce St. near Penner's clothing store.

A respected academic, Ybarra-Frausto may be best known for his 1989 essay "Rasquachismo: A Chicano Sensibility," which the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston says "defines the Mexican concept of rasquache [crummy] for both Chicano and non-Mexican readers and presents it (with some humor) for the conceptualization of a Chicano artistic sensibility."

Ybarra-Frausto has been honored by the Smithsonian as well. In 2007, he was awarded the Joseph Henry Medal for his "exemplary contributions to the institution."

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