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Library Installation

One Consequence
One Consequence, 1930
David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexican
Woodcut
Block: 3 3/8 × 5 1/8 inches (8.6 × 13 cm) Sheet: 4 9/16 × 6 inches (11.6 × 15.2 cm) Mount: 9 3/8 × 6 15/16 inches (23.8 × 17.6 cm)
Gift of the American Federation of Arts, 1943
1943-79-12k
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A Revolutionary Legacy: Mexican Modernism
October 25, 2016–February 24, 2017

Mexican modernism is an art movement that was inspired by the Mexican Revolution (1910–20) and continued through the aftermath of World War II (1939–45). Artists such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Julio Castellanos sought to banish stereotypical depictions of Mexican culture. They embraced deeper, more meaningful subjects that reflected the political and social agitation they witnessed around them. In their struggle to create a unique cultural identity for their country, they sought to “paint the revolution,” an act taken as the title of a corresponding special exhibition in the Museum’s main building.

The Museum’s relationship to modern Mexican art is long and rich. Beginning in the 1930s, the Museum sought to augment its already extensive colonial Mexican art collection with works that challenged viewers’ expectations. In 1932 an exhibition of the art of Diego Rivera at the Museum’s 69th Street branch established important ties between Americans in Philadelphia and Mexico. Then in 1943 the Museum hosted another exhibition, Mexican Art Today, that proved to be immensely important and popular thanks to the efforts of Henry Clifford, the Museum’s Curator of Paintings. Clifford was one of the main proponents of modern Mexican art in the 1930s and 1940s and his efforts, along with those of colleague Carl Zigrosser, contributed significantly to the Museum’s acquisition of many of the Mexican prints, drawings, photographs, and paintings in the collection today.

Location
The Library Reading Room, second floor, Perelman Building


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