In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, this exhibition explores the evolution of art and culture in Mexico from 1910 through 1968, with particular attention to parallel and related cultural changes in... Read More
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, this exhibition explores the evolution of art and culture in Mexico from 1910 through 1968, with particular attention to parallel and related cultural changes in San Antonio in the same years. The Mexican Revolution began on November 20, 1910, just after the nation's celebration of a century of Independence. The Revolution and the overthrow of the dictator Porfirio Diaz were planned by Mexican intellectuals in Mexico and San Antonio. After a decade-long struggle, in which Mexico was devastated by the political conflict, the new government began a program of national reconstruction in which the arts played a fundamental role. This artistic renaissance included a famous mural movement, a new embrace of Mexico's popular arts and folklore, and great achievements in film, music, and other areas.
The exhibition opens with an examination of San Antonio's connections to Mexico. Original documents from the 1910s written in San Antonio by the Flores Magin brothers, whose ideas were crucial in launching the revolt against Diaz, and a 1920s throne from the Aztec Theater on St. Mary's Street illustrate the links between San Antonio and Mexico early in the twentieth century. Over time the movement of people and ideas across the border led to important cultural transformations-from the work of local journalists, authors, and educators, to major architectural monuments, to expressions of the Good Neighbor Policy and the Chicano Movement. Created by a team of local scholars, the sections that explore these stories propose new ways of thinking about the links and continuities between the two nations.
Most of the exhibition is dedicated to a thematic installation that provides an innovative overview of Mexican art and culture in the post-Revolutionary period. The show includes paintings, sculptures, and decorative art objects from a major private collection in San Antonio. On view will be works by many of the most famous Mexican artists of the twentieth century, including Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Roberto Montenegro, and Jose Guadalupe Posada, as well as diverse examples of folk art and furniture, from china poblana dresses to a piano covered in Aztec and Zapotec designs. The parallel and entwined cultural and artistic histories of Mexico and San Antonio will be explored through sections on the Alameda Theater, the Miraflores gardens, and HemisFair.
The show breaks new ground in its curatorial ambitions and breadth. An international team of experts, led by James Oles, one of the world's leading scholars of Mexican art, includes Tom's Ybarra-Frausto, a distinguished scholar of U.S Latino arts and culture, Carmen Tafolla, a renowned Latina writer, Ricardo Danel, a San Antonio-based historian at Mexico's National University, and Kathryn O'Rourke, an art history professor at Trinity University.