Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico

Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico


March 7, 2021 to January 2, 2022 | Tower Gallery

Depictions of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and numerous saints play a vital role in Catholic communities in Mexico and New Mexico. They act as a focal point for prayer, hear people’s appeals for help, and express gratitude when that help is received. Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico features works drawn from the DMA’s Latin American collection that embody the active spiritual relationships between their creators, patrons, and communities. The works featured in the show are historical examples of living traditions that continue to be practiced today.




Ex-votos are a type of votive art—small oil-on-tin paintings commissioned by individuals to express gratitude for an answered prayer. The paintings pair a visual illustration of a miraculous event with a written account. Often hung in churches near altars dedicated to the holy figure featured in their creation, they offer a visual testament to the figure’s power. The ex-votos in Devoted each tell the story of an individual’s personal miracle and come from various cities in Mexico, including Mexico City, Puebla, and San Luis Potosí.

Create your own ex-voto to express a meaningful event in your life that you’re grateful for or a future wish that you have. Submit your stories to or tag us on social media at @DallasMuseumArt for a chance to have your ex-voto displayed in Devoted. Download the template. ¡Actividad disponible en español!


  • MAKE


    In Mexico, embossing is often created using tin and is referred to as hojalata. Many Mexican artists choose tin as a medium for sacred or spiritual depictions in the form of an ex-voto or bulto.



    Nicho boxes are an adaptation of the Roman Catholic retablos, which are pictures of patron saints or depictions of miracles, commonly painted on wood or tin surfaces.



    Join Paintings Conservator Laura Hartman behind the scenes in the Conservation Studio, including a close look at a complex 18th-century painting adorned with milagros.