Event Title

Articulations of Mestizaje in Early Twentieth-Century Mexican Art

Location

King Building 321

Start Date

4-28-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 5:50 PM

Abtract

This research project aims to analyze the relationships between national Mexican mestizaje and official art using Diego Rivera’s Creation (1922-23) and Our Bread (1928) as case studies. Beginning in the 1920s, the post-revolutionary Mexican government commissioned mural paintings with social and political messages in attempts to reunite the country under the new government. The artists employed in this culture project were tasked with the creation and advancement of a national iconography with the aim of uniting the illiterate masses under a new national identity. This post-revolutionary nationalism was predicated on the racial trope of the mestizo – an assimilative mixture of contemporary Mexico’s white European and Indigenous populations. While the adoption of a national racial identity was meant to reconfigure mixture as positive rather than degenerate, the adoption and promotion of official mestizaje in government-funded murals functioned to legitimize and normalize racial hierarchies that allowed for the stigmatization of Indigenous Mexicans and exclusion of Mexicans of African and Asian ancestry in the discourse of national Mexican identity. Utilizing visual analyses of these two murals, supplemented by a social history of art approach to analyze the ideological nature of their visual elements as related to social, political, and material conditions of the lived experience, I will explore the articulations of mestizaje in Mexican art of the 1920s.

Keywords:

mestizaje, race, art history, Diego Rivera

Notes

Session III, Panel 14 - Art | Identity
Moderator: Jennifer Fraser, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology

Major

Neuroscience

Award

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

Advisor(s)

Patrick Simen, Neuroscience

Project Mentor(s)

Gina Pérez, Comparative American Studies

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 28th, 4:30 PM Apr 28th, 5:50 PM

Articulations of Mestizaje in Early Twentieth-Century Mexican Art

King Building 321

This research project aims to analyze the relationships between national Mexican mestizaje and official art using Diego Rivera’s Creation (1922-23) and Our Bread (1928) as case studies. Beginning in the 1920s, the post-revolutionary Mexican government commissioned mural paintings with social and political messages in attempts to reunite the country under the new government. The artists employed in this culture project were tasked with the creation and advancement of a national iconography with the aim of uniting the illiterate masses under a new national identity. This post-revolutionary nationalism was predicated on the racial trope of the mestizo – an assimilative mixture of contemporary Mexico’s white European and Indigenous populations. While the adoption of a national racial identity was meant to reconfigure mixture as positive rather than degenerate, the adoption and promotion of official mestizaje in government-funded murals functioned to legitimize and normalize racial hierarchies that allowed for the stigmatization of Indigenous Mexicans and exclusion of Mexicans of African and Asian ancestry in the discourse of national Mexican identity. Utilizing visual analyses of these two murals, supplemented by a social history of art approach to analyze the ideological nature of their visual elements as related to social, political, and material conditions of the lived experience, I will explore the articulations of mestizaje in Mexican art of the 1920s.