The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this essay from 2004, historian Rick A. López argues that the Hull-House in Chicago played an important role in promoting a Mexican nationalist aesthetics among the Mexican migrant community that settled in the city in the 1920s. Behind the homogeneous style imprinted in the pottery made at the Hull-House Kilns (an art program among many others at Hull-House in the 1920s and 1930s), there was a sense of Mexicanness imported from post-revolutionary Mexico, rather than born from the personal experiences of the migrants. Nevertheless, the Hull-House represents a site where the articulation and enactment of a unifying sense of mexicanidad further helped in the establishment of a Mexican-American identity.
“Forging a Mexican National Identity in Chicago” is one of four essays in the book Pots of Promise: Mexicans and Pottery at Hull-House, 1920-1940, a first look into the Hull-House art programs, specifically the Hull-House Kilns pottery program, as well as the Hull-House colonia, Chicago's largest Mexican settlement.Co-founded by Myrtle Meritt French, her husband Beal French, and Vinol and Hazel Hannell on January 1927, the Hull-House Kilns program emerged as a commercial pottery operation from the pottery classes taught in the Hull-House Art School. Many of the potters that worked in the Kilns were Mexican immigrants that lived in Near West Side neighborhood.