Art Exhibition: “Las Tres Luisas”

“Las Tres Luisas” [The Three Luisas] is an exhibition presently on view at the Galería Sagrado Corazón, the art gallery of the University of the Sacred Heart in Santurce, Puerto Rico. The exhibit opened yesterday, February 24, 2010, the 15th anniversary of the gallery.  It features artwork by three women: Luisina Ordóñez (1909-1975), María Luisa Penne de Castillo (1913-2005), and Luisa Géigel Brunet (1916-2008).

The gallery recognizes the work pioneered by three women artists born in the first half of the 20th century and highlights their contribution to Puerto Rican art. Adlín Ríos Rigau, founder and director of the Sacred Heart Gallery, explains that these artists were the first Puerto Rican women to study art in Europe and the United States, receiving an education in the vanguard and modernist currents of the 1930s. Despite the aesthetic value of their work, the moralistic prejudices of their time rejected their representation of nudes, thus preventing the maximum development of their artistic careers and forcing them to remain predominantly devoted to teaching.”

Abbreviated biographies:

Luisina Ordoñez was born in San Sebastián in 1909. She studied at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid from 1935 to 1936. She participated in several solo and collective exhibitions in Puerto Rico, starting in 1938 with her first solo exhibition at Casa de España in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

María Luisa Penne de Castillo was born in Ponce in 1913. A painter, printer, and educator, she began her formal studies at New York’s Pratt Institute from 1932 to 1935, and received a BA from the University of Puerto Rico in 1939 and MA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947. She pursued doctoral studies at Columbia University between 1940 and 1961. She was director of the Fine Arts Department at the Polytechnic Institute of San Germán from 1940 to 1961 and taught at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez from 1961 to 1980.

Luisa Géigel was born in San Juan in 1916. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Barcelona and later at the King-Smith Studio School from 1935 to 1937. In 1937 she also studied at the Art Students League of New York and with Spanish sculptor José de Creeft. She taught drawing and sculpture at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras from 1958 to 1986. Géigel was the founder and first director of the Visual Arts Department of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño.

For more information, you may call José Fonseca at (787) 728-1515, extension 2561, or write to   

See full description and biographies (in Spanish) at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s