Important Gift of Pre-Colombian Art Given to CARTA


On December 8, Dean Brian Schriner hosted a reception and dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Juan Toro, formerly of Medellin, Colombia, and New York and now residents of Miami.  The gathering was a celebration of the Toro family’s gift to CARTA of over 40 artifacts from various Pre-Colombian cultures such as the Quimbaya,  Calima, and Tumaco. Selections from the curated collection are displayed at FIU College of Architecture + The Arts’ Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) and are available for public viewing.

A traditional family of ranchers, aviators, and diplomats from Medellin, the Toros have held substantial acreage for agriculture and livestock in the area for well over a century. The land was not only fertile for growing crops, and cultivating and feeding livestock, but very often when the fields were turned or plowed, the ground revealed objects from a far off time, objects that are known by us today as Pre-Colombian Art.

Some pieces were received by the Toros as gifts while others were purchased. Over the years, the collection grew and it became clear that housing such fine pieces in their home could lead to breakage or destruction. The Toros turned to Florida International University, and specifically to CARTA, to be future custodians of the artwork. The collection represents Cauca, Chimu and Narina cultures in addition to those mentioned above, and contains a number of extremely fine, museum-quality examples of the art of those cultures. The Toro family is delighted to make these works available to the public and especially to the students of Florida International University to broaden knowledge of and appreciation for their homeland’s creative arts.

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