A Nation Emerges: The Mexican Revolution Revealed

Exhibition, events at Downtown's Central Library tell the story of Mexico's past through period photographs

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: August 22, 2011

A Nation Emerges: The Mexican Revolution Revealed

The Mexican Revolution (1910 - 1920), which lasted a decade and transformed the nation, was extensively chronicled by Mexican, American, and European photographers and illustrators. Thousands of images captured a country at war.

Never before, and possibly never since, had a country's struggles been the subject of such scrutiny or fascination. Organized as part of Los Angeles celebration of the bicentennial of Mexico's independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, A Nation Emerges: The Mexican Revolution Revealed, presented by the Getty Research Institute and the Los Angeles Public Library, chronicles a complex, multifaceted chapter in Mexico's history.

A Nation Emerges, on view at the Central Library, Getty Gallery, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown Los Angeles, from September 8, 2011 to June 3, 2012, showcases over 130 photographs, prints, and maps drawn primarily from the Special Collections of the Getty Research Institute. The exhibition also includes a selection of 20th- and 21st-century posters and prints from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, that contextualize the history of the Mexican Revolution for a 21st-century audience.

A Nation Emerges reveals eyewitness accounts of the Mexican Revolution through photographs taken by Mexican and foreign photographers, who set up agencies, particularly in Mexico City and along the Mexican-American border, where they produced images that would become part of the daily news coverage not only in Mexico, but worldwide. Photographers and revolutionary leaders both recognized the importance of photographs in raising consciousness and rallying support for the events and people of the revolution, and the modern-day photo op was born.

Images from the revolution continue to inspire today, and folk heroes such as Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and las soldaderas remain part of Los Angeles's popular culture. Among the most iconic images in the exhibition are Villa riding his horse at a gallop and Villa seated in the presidential chair with Zapata beside him. "While every photograph belongs to a specific event and has its own story to tell, when a photograph becomes iconic, its actual subject is no longer as important as what the image stands for in the collective mind," said Beth Guynn, senior special collections cataloguer for the Getty Research Institute and exhibition curator.

"A Nation Emerges will allow visitors to explore the ongoing resonance of the Mexican Revolution and the meaning it continues to hold for many," said City Librarian Mart?¡n J. G??mez. "We are thrilled to host this extraordinary exhibition and grateful for the opportunity to bring this important topic to the thousands of people who visit the Los Angeles Public Library every day. We look forward to future collaborations with the Getty Research Institute."

A rich program of events including lectures, family programs, adult education courses, and curatorial tours is being planned for A Nation Emerges. Enhancing the exhibition, an audio tour will tell the stories behind some of the most significant objects on view. Special programs related to the exhibit will be held at the Central Library, including three programs in the Library Foundation's popular [ALOUD] series.

A Nation Emerges: The Mexican Revolution Revealed has been organized by the Getty Research Institute with support from Edison International and support from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. The Library Foundation of Los Angeles is a non-profit organization that supports all of the activities and programs not funded by the City. The Foundation's fundraising efforts enhance the Library as a center for literary and cultural learning, thereby enriching the lives of every Angeleno.


Portraying the Mexican Revolution through Music and Images
USC lecturer Dr. Gloria Arjona, accompanied by a guitarist, speaks on the Mexican Revolution and its impact on Mexican society today, interspersed with ballads (corridos) from the Mexican Revolution.
Saturday, September 17, 2 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library

Aztec Stories & Songs with Michael Heralda
Storyteller Michael Heralda presents the world of the Mexika/Aztecs through ballads, oral tales, and ancient poetry.
Saturday, September 24, 3 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library

?íREVOLUCI?ôN!: An Internationalist Homage to the Mexican Revolution
A musical and artistic collaboration initiated by Chola Con Cello. With: Mar?¡a Elena Gait?ín (Chola Con Cello), violoncello, narration; Ixya Herrera, vocals; Will Herr??n, composer,guitar, vocals, visuals ; Oto??o Lujan, accordion, vocals; Sid Medina, lead guitar,vocals; Jess Velo, bass guitar, vocals. From the Russian steppes to Spanish and French anthems for love, liberty and freedom, ?íREVOLUCI?ôN! looks at a pivotal historic event--the Mexican Revolution--through an Internationalist gaze, showcasing a rare ensemble of Chicano musical, visual and performance talent.
Saturday, October 15, 3 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library
FREE/Reservations Recommended www.lfla.org/aloud

Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon
Dr. Alfredo Qui??ones-Hinojosa, in conversation with Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Arts and Education reporter, KPCC 89.3 FM. How did a nineteen-year-old undocumented migrant worker toiling in the tomato fields of central California become an internationally renowned neurosurgeon who leads cutting-edge research to cure brain cancer? Join us for a story about the importance of family, of mentors, and of giving people a chance.
Wednesday, October 19, 7 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library
FREE/Reservations Recommended www.lfla.org/aloud

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company presents Revoluci??n: Tierra y Libertad
(Revolution: Land and Liberty)
There is no greater way to celebrate the beauty and bravery of the Mexican people than to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the Mexican Revolution through song and dance. It is through these two art forms that the message of the people is told. It is our pleasure and privilege to present Revoluci??n: Tierra y Libertad," an original production that tells the story of the Revolution through a geographical context. Varying groups (the North and South) had different reasons for fighting and conflicting goals. Yet one constant remained: the spirit of the Mexican peoples commitment to the idea of land and liberty for everyone.
Saturday, November 5, 2 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library

Reading and Conversation
Luis Urreas Queen of America: A Novel
Award-winning novelist Luis Urrea explores the intrepid life of his great-aunt Teresita Urrea, a healer and Saint of Cabora who fled Mexico for Arizona after the bloody Tomochic rebellion. Claimed as the spiritual leader of the Mexican Revolution, Teresita is besieged by pilgrims and pursued by assassins in turn of the century America in this spellbinding sequel to The Hummingbirds Daughter.
Thursday, December 1, 7 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Central Library
FREE/Reservations Recommended www.lfla.org/aloud

About LatinoLA Contributor:
IMAGE CREDIT: Walter H. Horne (18831921). Mujeres listas para recivir a Rabago, 1911. Gelatin silver print. Getty Research Institute (89.R.46)
Author's website

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