The Mexican Museum, located temporarily at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, has been granted membership in the prestigious Smithsonian affiliate museum network. It is the first museum in San Francisco to be honored with a national affiliation.

Benefits—besides being able to now purchase Smithsonian merchandise in the La Tienda gift shop—include borrowing access to 136 million pieces of additional artwork.  Museum-goers will no longer have to travel outside of San Francisco to see artwork normally located in Washington D.C..

The Mexican Museum first opened in 1975 in the Mission District and was founded by San Francisco artist Peter Rodriguez. It features a diverse collection of 12,000 artifacts ranging from the pre-Columbian to the contemporary, and includes many works showcasing the art of Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, and Latino artists.

Plans for the Mexican Museum in the future include a possible move downtown to the Yerba Buena Arts District in 2016. And the new collaboration will bring new exhibitions, educational programs, arts speakers and more exposure for a valued Bay Area institution. Currently on display at the museum is “The Tequila Don Julio Collection” and “Images: Independence and Revolution.”