The Tonatiúh and Electra Gutiérrez collection of maps and images of the Americas spans more than three centuries and includes
maps of North and South America, several world maps, and iconography of life, fauna and rituals in the Americas. It was assembled
by the Gutiérrezes as they researched the early history and exploration of the Americas.
Tonatiúh Gutiérrez, whose forename means "the sun" in Nahuatl, was the son of a high Mexican government official during the
heady pro-indigenous years of President Lázaro Cárdenas, when many Mexican children were given Aztec names. Electra López
Mompradé de Gutiérrez was the daughter of Spanish republicans exiled to Mexico in 1939. During his youth, Gutiérrez became
a skilled photographer and a medal-winning professional swimmer. He competed in several high-profile competitions including
the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics. Gutiérrez was considered flamboyant, charismatic, and an impressive individual who could
fill social gatherings with his passionate energy. He was a professor of economics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de
México (UNAM) and became a promoter of the popular arts. During the 1960s he was the director of expositions of the National
Tourist Council of Mexico, and in the 1970s served as the head of the Fideicomiso para el Fomento de las Artesanias (later
known as Fondo Nacional para el Fomento de Artesanias, FONART), an important state trust for the promotion of folk art. Mompradé,
as Gutiérrez, became an expert in pre-Columbian dance and dress and Mexican culture and history. The couple lived together
in the district of Coyoacán in Mexico City until Gutiérrez's death when shortly thereafter, Mompradé moved to Spain.