Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art: Veinte Siglos de Arte Mexicano

By Museum of Modern Art | Go to book overview

This they showed not only by the subject matter of their paintings but also by their enthusiasm for the ancient art of Aztecs and Mayas and for popular art. For it is in its folk art (to which a large section of the exhibition is devoted) that the two great traditions of Mexican culture, the Indian and the Spanish, are most completely harmonized in marvelously varied, abundant, and esthetically satisfying forms.

An exhibition such as this can do little more than introduce one to the nation's history and culture. Seen in New York, much of the varied art of Mexico will seem bizarre, amusing, picturesque. But to those who know and love Mexico its plastic forms are more than this: they are the symbols of a way of life which still preserves that gayety, serenity, and sense of human dignity which the world needs.


PRELIMINAR DEL MUSEO DE ARTE MODERNO

Al presentar la exposición de "Veinte Siglos de Arte Mexicano", el Gobierno de México y el Museo de Arte Moderno han querido dar al público de los Estados Unidos una oportunidad para que estudie el arte del México de hoy dentro de la perspectiva cultural del México de ayer. Nada se había intentado antes de tal magnitud, y los Sindicos del Museo de Arte Moderno desean expresor su agradecimiento a todas aquellas personas cuya entusiasta cooperación hizo posible esta exposición, y especialmente al pueblo mexicano que generosamente nos ha permitido contemplar tantas obras maestras suyas.

Esta exposición no dejará de despertar en los norteamericanos más observadores interesantes reflexiones sobre el carácter y la significación de nuestras dos civilizaciones. Comparada con la nuestra, la cultura mexicana, según la expresa su arte, parece ser, en general, más variada, de mayor fuerza creadora y más cercana al espíritu del pueblo. Los mexicanos tienen sobre nosotros una gran ventaja: un pasado artístico incomparablemente más rico, en realidad dos pasados -- uno europeo y otro indígena --, los cuales han sobrevivido conjuntamente, con ciertas modificaciones, hasta nuestros días.

Cuando, a principios del siglo XVI, ingleses y holandeses colonizaron la costa del Atlántico no encontraron más que unas cuantas tribus dispersas que vivian casi en la edad de piedra. Pero cien años antes los españoles, al conquistar México, habían hallado civilizaciones que los maravillaron por su avanzada organización y cultura, por su riqueza fabulosa, por su arte refinado y su soberbia arquitectura. Hay que reconocer tambión que los primeros colonos norteamericanos, denodados, sagaces y piadosos como eran, trajeron consigo una cultura que, en lo artístico, resultaba pobre comparada con la que trasplantaron de España los conquistadores. Y si, al admirar el arte del México actual, lo envidiamos con cierto rendimiento, sírvanos de consuelo el pensar que el patrimonio artístico de ese país proviene del encuentro y la fusión de lo que fué el imperio más grande de Europa y el imperio más poderoso de América.

Con el arte de los dominios aztecas antes de la Conquista estamos bastante familiarizados, aunque en esta ocasión lo vemos representado con una abundancia sin precedente. Algo sabemos tambión del arte de la Espafia imperial, sobre todo de la pintura de El Greco, Veldzquez y Murillo. Pero

-12-

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Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art: Veinte Siglos de Arte Mexicano
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Corrections 2
  • Veinte Siglos De Arte Mexicano 4
  • Title Page 5
  • Contents Indice 7
  • Committees · Acknowledgments Comites · Reconocimientos 8
  • Foreword of the Mexican Department of Foreign Affairs 10
  • Preliminar De La Secretaria De Relaciones Exteriores De Mexico 10
  • Foreword of the Museum of Modern Art 11
  • Preliminar Del Museo De Arte Moderno 12
  • Introduction 14
  • Introduccion 17
  • Pre-Spanish Art 23
  • Arte Prehispanico 26
  • Colonial Art 67
  • Arte Colonial 71
  • Folk Art 109
  • Arte Popular 111
  • Modern Art 137
  • Arte Modprno 141
  • Brief Biographies 183
  • Datos Biograficos 190
  • Bibliography Bibliografia 197
  • Pre-Spanish Cultures of Mexic0 *
  • Colonial Art in Mexic0 *
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