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At Hampshire College, A Mock Museum Of Appropriated Puerto Rican Identity

Pablo Delano's "The Museum of the Old Colony" is a sort of mock museum, made up of 20th-century photos and captions from Puerto Rico. Photo by Jill Kaufman for NEPR

Pablo Delano’s “The Museum of the Old Colony” is a sort of mock museum, made up of 20th-century photos and captions from Puerto Rico. Photo by Jill Kaufman for NEPR

Many of the photos in Pablo Delano’s exhibit at Hampshire College are more than 100 years old. They depict the island’s lush flora and fauna, and its people — as farmers, beauty queens, jail inmates — and in most cases, there’s some connection to the U.S. government.

Delano, a Hartford visual artist who teaches at Trinity College, has collected these photos for years. One of them, taken in the year 1900, shows four naked children standing on a beach in Puerto Rico, staring at the ocean.

The captions on display are original. For this photo, the caption begins, “Waiting for Uncle Sam — on the Beach at Puerto Rico.”

“The texts are a very important part of the exhibit,” Delano said on a recent tour of the exhibit.

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