The Mexican Mural Movement 1900-1930
Many studies have been made of the 'Mexican Mural Renaissance', but these generally have not provided an integrated account of the philosophical and ideological beginnings, development and end of the Mexican government's 1920's programme. Also, recent studies dealing with aspects of the programme have brought new evidence forward which allows this study to provide an overview of the social, political and aesthetic context of the mural programme. This is helpful in the assessment of the muralists' artistic achievements both as individuals and as members of the artists' syndicate. Primary source material such as the artists' autobiographies and the newspapers such as 'La Vanguardia' and 'EI Machete' to which they frequently contributed have also been studied closely to provide new insights into their political thinking and aesthetic principles as they sought to create a 'revolutionary art for all.' Since the programme was government-sponsored as part of a national education policy, the ideology of the regimes which preceded and followed the Revolution of 1910-17 has been examined to ascertain how well the muralists' ideals and work matched the expectations of their official patrons. Accordingly an account is also given of the political life of Mexico, in particular during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz and the Revolution, and especially close attention is given to politics during the 1920's when the mural programme was underway. Concerning the muralists themselves, aspects of their experience which may have influenced their art are considered concurrently with their contemporary work. This is particularly important as a major question addressed in this study concerns the reduction of the muralists' programme from a group project, to the efforts of three noted muralists with assistance in some cases from others previously employed as muralists in their own right, to the final reduction of the programme to just Diego Rivera and several assistants.