Event Title

Mexican Muralism and Mestizaje: Official Race Ideologies

Location

Science Center A154

Start Date

10-2-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

10-2-2015 2:50 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this research project is to analyze the relationships between national identity and official art using Diego Rivera’s murals from the 1920s as a case study. From the 1920s to the 1940s, the post-Mexican Revolution government utilized mural painting with social and political messages in attempts to reunify the country under the new government. The artists employed promoted the adoption of a national mestizo identity – a refocus on Mexico’s indigenous roots and acknowledgement of European colonization. While the state’s mural program and the individual artists themselves may have celebrated indigenous people, their adoption and promotion of official mestizaje contributed to the erasure and disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples that continues to exist today. Utilizing visual analysis of some of these murals, supplemented by a social history of art approach, I will explore the definitions of mestizaje in the context of 1920s Mexican art.

Notes

Session I, Panel 1 - CULTURE: Labor & Exploitation

Major

Neuroscience

Award

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF)

Project Mentor(s)

Gina Pérez, Comparative American Studies

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Oct 2nd, 1:30 PM Oct 2nd, 2:50 PM

Mexican Muralism and Mestizaje: Official Race Ideologies

Science Center A154

The purpose of this research project is to analyze the relationships between national identity and official art using Diego Rivera’s murals from the 1920s as a case study. From the 1920s to the 1940s, the post-Mexican Revolution government utilized mural painting with social and political messages in attempts to reunify the country under the new government. The artists employed promoted the adoption of a national mestizo identity – a refocus on Mexico’s indigenous roots and acknowledgement of European colonization. While the state’s mural program and the individual artists themselves may have celebrated indigenous people, their adoption and promotion of official mestizaje contributed to the erasure and disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples that continues to exist today. Utilizing visual analysis of some of these murals, supplemented by a social history of art approach, I will explore the definitions of mestizaje in the context of 1920s Mexican art.