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.
A pillar commemorating independence was planned to celebrate the centennial of Mexican independence. The jury for the competition was composed of three teachers from the Academy: Manuel Iturbe, architect; Arnulfo Domínguez Bello, sculptor; and Francisco de la Torre, painter. Eight projects were presented but only two were judged worthy of consideration. Sculptor Juan Cordero was the winner of the competition. His column was crowned by an eagle with four caryatids at its base, two indigenous and two Spanish. Agustín de Iturbide and Vicente Guerrero also appear at the base of the column, giving each other the “abrazo de Acatempan” [Acatempan embrace occurred in the state of Guerrero) where the two armies came together for good.
This article from 1929 speaks of the conservative government mindset that drove the patronage of public works at the time. It would not be until José Vasconcelos took up his post within the cultural program that changes would be noted in the post-Revolutionary period, as he invited those artists who were then studying in Europe under The Academy scholarships. At stake was the creation of an art that overlapped with politics. The monument was never built, most likely because of a proposal from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. The anonymous article includes a photograph that shows the conservative and obsolete nature of the monument: not only because of the sculptural and architectonic model, but also because it considered the year 1921 as the centennial of Mexican independence and also believed that Iturbide (self-proclaimed Emperor Augustine I) was one of the principal figures in the independence movement. Not even in the era of Porfirio Díaz did anyone consider returning to such a conservative version of history.