June 21 - August 29, 2010
In celebration of the Mexican centennial in 2010, the Mildred Hawn Gallery in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library featured an exhibit of historic books and portfolios from Mexico, on view June 21 through August 29. The items are part of the Stanley Marcus Collection at SMU’s DeGolyer Library. Marcus, from the family of the founders of the exclusive Neiman Marcus store, was a passionate book collector who assembled a truly remarkable private library, numbering about 8,000 volumes and ranging across the centuries.
The exhibit included a portfolio of drawings and color prints from prominent Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, dated 1949-1950, and depicting animals and abstractions. They’re accompanied by photos and letters between Marcus and Tamayo. “The Fight for Liberty,” a 1944 lithograph of a mural by Jose Clemente Orozco, was also highlighted, along with a book featuring Diego Rivera’s mural of the Mexican Revolution. Portraits of the artists themselves - Tamayo, Rivera and Orozco - were displayed in the portfolio “Drawings of 13 Mexican Painters” by Carlos Orozco Romero (1939). Also featured were a portfolio of black and white woodcut-style prints by Jose Guadalupe Posada depicting revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata, Calaveras and more.
Other cases in the exhibit included depictions of historical monuments and daily life. Vibrant silkscreened prints from the 1947 portfolio, “Mexico in Color,” by Elma Pratt show a man carrying flowers on a bamboo pole, women with baskets of corn balanced on their heads, and a colorful altar scene. Ancient monuments from Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan are the subject of a book by Frederick Catherwood, dated 1965. Also featured were black and white photographs taken by Marcus himself during visits to Mexico in the 1930s, in an album titled “This Is Mexico.”
This exhibition was related to a later one at DeGolyer Library, from September 7 to December 17, 2010. Mexico: Porfiriato to Revolution, 1876-1920, displayed photographs, manuscripts and printed materials from Mexico including pictures of fighting and carnage of the Mexican Revolution, Porfirio Diaz and other government leaders, native peoples, railroads, mining, agriculture, and the Mexican 1910 Centennial celebration. There were also loan materials from Elmer Powell’s extensive Mexican Revolution collection.