There was skepticism when Dallas Museum of Art director Agustín Arteaga proposed bringing a major exhibit of Mexican masterpieces here from Paris and allowing families who were not regular museum visitors to see it for free.

But since the exhibit’s arrival in March, so many people have seen it, its attendance ranks as the second highest for a special exhibit at the DMA in the past five years, according to the museum. More than half of its viewers are first-time museum visitors and many are Latino.

“I’ve haven’t seen this many brown people in the museum before,” said José Villanueva, 28, a Dallas artist volunteering as a docent with the museum’s “Yo Soy DMA” program formed around the exhibit to promote attendance from the community.

From raising the money to make it happen, to making Dallas its only U.S. stop to encouraging families to the downtown museum, the impressive exhibit has been a community affair.

It has acted as an invitation to members of the public who may not have felt welcome at the museum or given it much thought, to see it and other public spaces downtown as theirs, exhibit organizers told NBC Latino.

The exhibit is “Mexico 1900-1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde.”

It features the works of some of Mexico’s most celebrated, as well as lesser-known, artists with almost 200 artworks displaying the country’s creative soul of the modern 20th century.

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