Mexican Muralism | Art History Teaching ResourcesTuesday, July 24, California State University, Los Angeles. Music Hall April , This Conference is Free and Open to the Public. Cal State L. Map Website:. R, and the United States.
Mexican muralism was the promotion of mural painting starting in the s, generally with social and political messages as part of efforts to reunify the country under the post Mexican Revolution government. From the s to about s a large number of murals with nationalistic, social and political messages were created on public buildings, starting a tradition which continues to this day in Mexico and has had impact in other parts of the Americas, including the United States where it served as inspiration for the Chicano art movement. Mexico has had a tradition of painting murals, starting with the Olmec civilization in the pre Hispanic period and into the colonial period, with murals mostly painted to evangelize and reinforce Christian doctrine. The first Mexican mural painter to use philosophical themes in his work was Juan Cordero in the mid 19th century. Although he did mostly work with religious themes such as the cupola of the Santa Teresa Church and other churches, he painted a secular mural at the request of Gabino Barreda at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria since disappeared. This government was the first to push for the cultural development of the country, supporting the Academy of San Carlos and sending promising artists abroad to study. However, this effort left out indigenous culture and people, with the aim of making Mexico like Europe.
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About the Book
The Mexican mural movement , or Mexican muralism , began as a government-funded form of public art—specifically, large-scale wall paintings in civic buildings—in the wake of the Mexican Revolution — The Revolution was a massive civil war helmed by a number of factions with charismatic leaders—Francisco Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, to name a few—all of whom had very specific political and social agendas. After the Revolution, then, the government took on the very difficult project of transforming a divided Mexico of maderistas, carrancistas, villistas, zapatistas , and so on, into a coherent nation of mexicanos. To do so, it needed to create an official history of Mexico in which its citizens would find themselves, and it needed a medium that could propagate this to a largely poor, illiterate populace. Enter Mexican muralism. While the mural project employed a host of artists from across the country, the influence and prominence of Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros was so great that it makes sense to limit a discussion of muralism largely to them for an introductory lecture on the topic. Each had a different personality, ideology, style, and sphere of influence, and a well-developed survey on Mexican muralism can be taught through their works.