CHICAGO — After more than 40 years, the CEO and founder of the National Museum of Mexican Art, is set to retire.

Carlos Tortolero, who also acts as the Pilsen-area museum president, will step down on Dec. 31.

“What an amazing journey,” said Tortolero in a release announcing his looming retirement. “It’s been challenging, but it’s been fun. I always held that the museum be located within Pilsen for greater community access and that admission must be free so everyone can enjoy it. From the beginning, there were roadblocks and naysayers. But look at us now! It’s truly been my honor to serve.”

Opening to the public in 1987, the museum highlights Mexican art, visuals and performances.

Originally known as the Mexican Fine Arts Center, the West Side staple showcases 3,600 years of creativity from both sides of the border, exemplifying the diversity of Mexican culture, according to the museum’s website.

As part of Tortolero’s decades-long vow, admission to the museum located at 1852 W. 19th St. remains free.

The search for a new museum president is already underway.