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FAU Libraries Celebrate the 'Mexican Day of the Dead Festival'

'Dia de Muertos' is More Festive Than Solemn

             BOCA RATON, FL (October 9, 2008) – Florida Atlantic University Libraries’ Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts is celebrating “Dia de Muertos,” the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, from Monday, October 3 through Thursday, November 12, at the S.E. Wimberly Library, 777 Glades Road, on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

             The festival is observed on November 1 and 2, and is more of a festive occasion than a solemn one. Families gather at cemeteries with bundles of marigolds and plenty of food to celebrate those who have passed on. Offrendas, which are celebratory altars, are decorated with skulls made of painted sugar, photographs, candles, papel picado (cut paper), sweets and festive skeleton figures.

            “The folks at the Jaffe center love a good celebration as much as anyone else does, and we are particularly enamored by this one,” said John Cutrone, programs coordinator. “We invite you to celebrate with us at our Dia de Muertos offrenda.”

            The Jaffe center’s Dia de Muertos offrenda, designed with a “bookish bent,” will be in the center’s lobby. It is not only filled with the traditional festive skeletons and papel picado, but also with some of the precious items from the Jaffe collection, including original Posada prints from Mexico and the work of Leonard Baskin, an American painter and sculptor.

             In the spirit of the offrenda, the Jaffe center’s staff is inviting the public to contribute to its display. “We welcome your Dia de Muertos themed artwork. Small prints or drawings of skeletons would be delightful, or in the Mexican tradition, small photographs of loved ones who have passed are welcome,” said Cutrone.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, can be viewed in the lobby of the book arts center, third floor east of FAU’s Wimberly Library. The Jaffe center’s hours are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The offrenda is visible after hours through the center’s glass doors during regular library hours, which can be found at or by calling 561-297-3770. For more information, call the Jaffe center at 561-297-0226 or email


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