Skip to main content

Antonia Pantoja

Antonia Pantoja
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Manuel Vega, born 1956
Sitter
Antonia Pantoja, 1922 - 2002
Date
2014
Type
Mosaic
Medium
Marble, glass and stone
Dimensions
98.4 × 58.1 × 2.5cm (38 3/4 × 22 7/8 × 1")
Frame: 99.4 × 61.6 × 4.6cm (39 1/8 × 24 1/4 × 1 13/16")
Topic
Antonia Pantoja: Female
Antonia Pantoja: Education\Founder
Antonia Pantoja: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist
Antonia Pantoja: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Portrait
Place
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquisition made possible through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Manny Vega
Object number
NPG.2015.75
Exhibition Label
Born San Juan, Puerto Rico
A preeminent social leader of Puerto Ricans in the United States, Antonia Pantoja arrived in New York City in 1944, joining thousands of islanders who moved there over the following decade to work in low-paying postwar industries. While employed at various factories, she quickly started organizing to contest labor violations. Meanwhile, with scholarships, savings, and determination, she eventually earned a doctorate in social work.
In 1961, Pantoja founded ASPIRA (“to strive” in Spanish), an organization dedicated to improving disproportionally low Latino high school graduation rates. ASPIRA won a landmark lawsuit in 1972 that mandated bilingual education in the New York City school system. Pantoja’s efforts in education earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996.
This mosaic is a study for a public mural honoring Pantoja that was installed in the Puerto Rican community of East Harlem in 2015, where Pantoja initiated her career as a community and youth organizer.
Nacida en San Juan, Puerto Rico
Prominente líder social de los puertorriqueños en EE.UU., Antonia Pantoja llegó a Nueva York en 1944, uniéndose a miles de isleños que migrarían a esa ciudad en la década siguiente para tomar trabajos mal pagados en las industrias de la posguerra. Trabajó en varias fábricas, y comenzó enseguida a organizar a los obreros para luchar contra las infracciones laborales. Mientras, con becas, ahorros y gran empeño, completó un doctorado en trabajo social.
En 1961 Pantoja fundó ASPIRA, organización dedicada a mejorar el bajísimo porcentaje de graduación de escuela superior entre los latinos. ASPIRA ganó en 1972 un caso histórico que hizo obligatoria la enseñanza bilingüe en el sistema escolar de la ciudad de Nueva York. Los esfuerzos de Pantoja le ganaron la Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad en 1996.
Este mosaico es un estudio para un mural público en honor a Pantoja instalado en 2015 en el vecindario puertorriqueño de East Harlem, donde comenzó su carrera como organizadora de la comunidad y la juventud.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
The Struggle for Justice Refresh
On View
NPG, West Gallery 220