Event Price 
From $4,999

Mexico has a long tradition of mural painting starting with the pre-Hispanic period and the ancient Olmec civilization which created some of the earliest painted art in South America. Inspired by the idealism and struggle of the long Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) and spurred by its charismatic revolutionaries, these leaders formed close associations with radical artists like Gerardo Murillo, known as Dr. Atl. In 1906, he wrote a manifesto urging the creation of a new art movement that would showcase the history and realities of the Mexican people. Admired by his artistic contemporaries like Diego Rivera, this manifesto was an important precursor to the Mexican Muralist movement. Following the Revolution the government commissioned artists to create art that would illustrate the country’s history and vision for its future. More than any other art form, the mural is educational. At a time when many Mexicans were illiterate, these large-scale murals glorifying the Revolution would help communicate the government’s new-found pride in its cultural heritage. Artists like Jose Clemente Orozo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros began to create epic, politically-charged murals that interpreted Mexico’s ancient and pre-Colonial history and its evolution into modern-day Mexico. Using traditional Mexican colors and European Modernism the murals were executed in techniques using fresco, encaustic, mosaic, and relief. All of “Los Tres Grandes” mixed historical icons with modern elements: Rivera, who spent time in Europe incorporated Cubism into his works, Siqueiros used visions of modern science and machinery to project progress and Orozco used European expressionism to convey the horrors of war and the future reliance on technology.

Event Itinerary 

Optional Pre-Tour: Marfa

Day 1: Departure / Mexico City, Mexico | the Zócalo / Temple Mayor
Zócalo Cathedral / Aztec Ruins

Day 2: Mexico City / Teotihuacan | Chapingo / Paseo de la Reforma
Teotihuacán Murals / Diego Rivera

Day 3: Mexico City | Antiguo Colegio San Ildefonso
José Clemente Orozco / Fernando Leal / Diego Rivera

Day 4: Mexico City | Palacio de Bellas Artes / Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Los Tres Grandes / Siqueiros

Day 5: Mexico City | Museo Nacional de Antropología / Museo de Arte Moderno / Dartmouth Wind Ensemble
Pre-Columbian Art / Rufino Tamayo / Dr. Atl / Rivera / Siqueiros / Orozco / Frida Kahlo

Day 6: Mexico City / Departure

Optional Post-Tour: Cuernavaca

Region 
Season 
Type of activity 
Activity Level 

Moderate

Faculty

Mary Coffey

Mary K. Coffey is Professor of the Modern Art of the Americas and jointly appointed in the departments of Art History and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. Professor Coffey publishes on Mexican muralism, the politics of exhibition, and Mexican folk art collections. Her first book, How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State (Duke, 2012) won the Charles Rufus Morey Prize for a distinguished book in Art History from the College Art Association in 2012. Her second book, Orozco’s America: Myth, History, and the Melancholy of Race (Duke, 2020) is the first monograph of Jose Clemente Orozco’s The Epic of American Civilization fresco cycle at Dartmouth College. Professor Coffey has taught courses on Mexican and US American art at Dartmouth since 2004; she gives countless tours of the Orozco murals annually and has contributed to the production of numerous resources for the public about the mural. At Dartmouth she has been awarded The Class of 1962 Fellowship (2007), the Karen E. Wetterhahn Memorial Award for Distinguished Creative or Scholarly Achievement in recognition of the role of scholarship and creative work in undergraduate liberal arts education (2010), and the John M. Manley Hunting Award for Newly Promoted Faculty (2020). She has chaired both of her departments and served the college in multiple capacities, including service in faculty governance, co-directing the Consortium on Race, Migration, and Sexuality, and advising undergraduate and post-doctoral fellows.

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